Apple Online Store (Saudi Arabia 001)

Although the Saudi Arabia Online Apple Store has been up and running for years now, you can’t really add products to the shopping basket because Apple isn’t licensed to sell its products directly to consumers in the 28.3 million people market.

Instead, the iPhone maker relies on a network of third-party resellers to market and sell products in the country, a common practice in all regions where Apple hasn’t yet established its direct presence.

This is about to change as the firm has apparently been cleared to market, sell and develop products directly to Saudi Arabian customers through its subsidiary name of ‘Apple, Saudi Arabia’…

Passing along local news reports [Google translate], Mark Gurman explains that the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority has now cleared the California firm to “fully operate” in the region.

This means Apple can now market, maintain and develop products in the region through its new subsidiary name of ‘Apple, Saudi Arabia’.

As evidenced by the screenshot at the top, the Saudi Arabia Online Apple Store at press time still listed local distributors such as Mobility, STC and Zain. These outlets help sell, maintain and support iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple products offered to Saudi Arabian customers.

The iTunes Music Store started operating in the region in December 2012 and the iPhone 5s/5c went on sale in Saudi Arabia on November 1, 2014, just a month and a half following its U.S. debut.

An interactive chart put together by MobileUnlocked reveals that the entry-level 16GB iPhone 5s retails in Saudi Arabia for 2,799 Saudi Riyals, or approximately $746 (excluding taxes).

iPhone 5s prices in Saudi Arabia

The figure represents 2.45 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is a rather bearable $97 premium over Apple’s asking price of $649 over in the United States.

For reference, China is the most expensive country to own an iPhone 5s: the handset’s cost typically represents 9.55 percent of the country’s average GDP. In the U.S., an average selling price of the iPhone 5s is just 1.15 percent of the nation’s average per-capita GDP.

If you live in Saudi Arabia, we would love to hear about your experience buying Apple products through local resellers. Don’t be shy, just drop us a line or two in the comment section below.

  • neoamaru

    i can’t be any happier (^^)v thank you for sharing the news!

  • siddique

    wooOow..thats the greatest news from iDB…:D

  • siddique

    here in saudi arabia at the begning of announce any iphone the reseller put their own price,like 4000 to 5000 riyals. (2799 regular price)
    the golden color iPhone 5s is 100 to 150 riyals more then the other color. Wtf.

  • Omar Sharif

    Good news ! Hope Apple to do the same in Kuwait

    • XboxOne

      That’s ku, wait…

  • MDMtheKID

    That’s awesome news, I also heard they are coming to Abu Dhabi !!

  • Ahmed Albaqshi

    I live I’m Saudi Arabia and the resellers sell us Apple products in a high price than the original, so we don’t have a choice only to buy it from them. but after a while its get low but slightly higher than the original price. Great news to hear that this comes to an end.

  • Mohsin

    This is a very good news. The resellers here are thieves and hypocrites.

  • Mohammed

    Glad this finally happpened.
    I am not from saudi arabia but i’ve been hearing a lot of stories about resellers insane prices .
    Like everytime a new iphone launches its sells for 4000-5000 (about 1000$) then the price drops eventually.
    Now i just hope they remove the facetime restriction.

    • Rami Tabaa

      Here in Lebanon, the iPhone 5s was being sold for $1400 when it was first released! Now it costs around $850 which is still high and holding me back from buying it!

  • if apple is selling directly, then i am guessing facetime will be enabled O.o?

  • Hussain Alsanona

    There is a mistake “such as Mobility, STC and Zain.” It’s Mobily not “Mobility.

  • Hussain Alsanona

    Well, the first carrier that provided iPhone was Mobily and started with the iPhone 4. All the versions in my country is unlocked, however, I bought the iPhone 4 and the carrier offer 2GB of internet FREE for six months. The really bad thing in my country is, FaceTime not allowed in my country I have no clue why, but that really frustration!

  • bert0

    please do the same in Qatar… i was about to buy macbook pro here but the prices are too high.. 128gig version of MBP retina is about the price of 256 version is US

  • Alawyy96

    Thats great! waiting for the same to happen in Bahrain!! ( a nearby country to Saudi Arabia )

  • Wow, glad to see Middle east related news on iDB…

    Hats off

  • Rami Tabaa

    Still hoping that Apple would start selling iDevices in Lebanon officially!

  • Mallouk Malek

    It is much much much cheaper to buy from a reseller, I got my 5s 32Gb for 2900 and the 16Gb is available for 2500

  • Julia Brown

    Great buying experience at Pixel Parc apple reseller store in Jeddah.