Apple reaches accord with Saudi Arabian retailer to expand Middle East distribution

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
Consumers in Saudi Arabia will soon have a more direct link to Apple, as the iPhone maker has agreed to a deal with major book and electronics retailer Jarir Bookstore that will see the chain carry Apple's full product lineup and service customers.

A Jarir Bookstore outlet in Khobar, Saudi Arabia
A Jarir Bookstore outlet in Khobar, Saudi Arabia


Apple is not believed to have engaged directly with Middle Eastern retailers in the past, making the new agreement somewhat groundbreaking for the company. Jarir Bookstore chairman Mohammad al-Aqeel revealed the tie-up in an interview with Al Arabiya News.

Aqeel said that a deal with Apple will allow the chain to lower its prices on Apple products somewhat, as they will no longer be forced to pay a third-party distributor for access. The retailer currently sells a 32-gigabte iPod Touch for 1,249 Saudi Riyals -- around $333 -- for instance, nearly $100 more than the device's cost in the U.S.

Likewise, product availability should be improved with the new direct relationship. Distributors previously took as long as six months to bring new products into the country, Aqeel added.

It is unclear whether Jarir Bookstore will simply carry Apple products on its shelves or if the company will adopt Apple's preferred store-within-a-store concept. A similarly-groundbreaking deal with Czech retailer Alza, announced last month, brought the store-within-a-store setup to Prague.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Hmmmm, now you can pick-up an iPhone and "How to successfully execute your Caliphate in 10 Steps or Less" all in one trip. Nice!
  • Reply 2 of 24

    Article posted for over two hours, only one comment, and it's a bigoted remark.  This is why I love AppleInsider.  /s

  • Reply 3 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I wonder if negotiations were spearheaded by Angela Ahrendts.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    Hmmmm, now you can pick-up an iPhone and "How to successfully execute your Caliphate in 10 Steps or Less" all in one trip. Nice!

    What? I doubt you would find that title in Saudi Arabia. More likely "How to Discreetly Finance a Holy War "  or  "The Dangers of Women Behind the Wheel" or "The Myth of MERS and Camels"

  • Reply 5 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I wonder if negotiations were spearheaded by Angela Ahrendts.

    Doubt it.  Western women are not very welcome in Saudi Arabia.

  • Reply 6 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Once again, we get a string of embarrassing xenophobic comments and jokes. It would be really great if you guys approached these kinds of stories as something to welcome, sort of the way Apple approaches things.

    A Saudi friend of ours just got his degree in international relations at a local Lutheran university, under a full scholarship from the Saudi government, and he's on his way back for a job with said government. At the age of 22, his knowledge of the cultural cross-currents between East and West has been a pleasure to witness. Not to mention his knowledge of horses and falconry. And no, he's not from the "royal" family. You can learn something valuable from anybody.
  • Reply 7 of 24

    A real bookstore? Looks like Apple is backing the establishment against Amazon. :D 

  • Reply 8 of 24
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    A real bookstore? Looks like Apple is backing the establishment against Amazon. :D  

    It's a bookstore but it's also a electronic retailer. The deal it seems is for them to sell Apple products gotten directly from Apple.  
  • Reply 9 of 24
    michael_cmichael_c Posts: 164member
    I wonder if negotiations were spearheaded by Angela Ahrendts.
    She could have been key in it happening - Burberry had a presence in Saudia Arabia
  • Reply 10 of 24
    bolbolizebolbolize Posts: 19member

    Jarir Bookstore is the best place in Saudi Arabia to buy a device (computer, printer, phone, etc) and it is also the best place to buy a book. Apple does not make any random moves.

  • Reply 11 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael_C View Post





    She could have been key in it happening - Burberry had a presence in Saudia Arabia

     

    That's what I was thinking.

  • Reply 12 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    All joking apart , and I hate politics on AI, the Saudi leadership are not a group I am happy is Apple involved with. Hell, they single handedly financed ISIS. Ironically that seems to coming back to bite them.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    All joking apart , and I hate politics on AI, the Saudi leadership are not a group I am happy is Apple involved with. Hell, they single handedly financed ISIS. Ironically that seems to coming back to bite them.

    I'm sure the Saudi leadership aren't thrilled with doing business with the U.S. companies from the worldwide leaders in drone strikes and collateral damage either. Politics have no place here.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    wigby wrote: »
    I'm sure the Saudi leadership aren't thrilled with doing business with the U.S. companies from the worldwide leaders in drone strikes and collateral damage either. Politics have no place here.

    I don't see the equivalence there. Apple, creator of amazing product available to the world. Saudi royal family, financiers of terrorist. Can you explain what Apple has to do with drones?
  • Reply 15 of 24
    fred1fred1 Posts: 831member
    wigby wrote: »
    I'm sure the Saudi leadership aren't thrilled with doing business with the U.S. companies from the worldwide leaders in drone strikes and collateral damage either. Politics have no place here.

    The Saudis don't want to do business with US companies?? When are you planning to come back to planet Earth?
    Do you have any idea how many billions or trillions of dollars of trade the two countries do each year and how the Saudi leadership has been in bed with the US gov't for years?
    Do the US military bases in Saudi Arabia indicate anything to you??
  • Reply 16 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    I don't see the equivalence there. Apple, creator of amazing product available to the world. Saudi royal family, financiers of terrorist. Can you explain what Apple has to do with drones?

    Sorry, but what does the Saudi Royal family have to do with a deal between Apple and a bookstore chain?
  • Reply 17 of 24
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    Hmmmm, now you can pick-up an iPhone and "How to successfully execute your Caliphate in 10 Steps or Less" all in one trip. Nice!

     

    How cute. 

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Doubt it.  Western women are not very welcome in Saudi Arabia.


     

    Complete Bullshit. There was a ton of European/Western women last time I was in Saudi. As long as they follow some basic dress code etiquette, in accordance to the society they're in (ie, throw a loose shawl over their head and dont show a ton of skin) then there's nothing wrong. Not welcome by whom? The Saudi people? The Saudi gvt? What a clueless comment based on ignorant and xenophobia. 

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    All joking apart , and I hate politics on AI, the Saudi leadership are not a group I am happy is Apple involved with. Hell, they single handedly financed ISIS. Ironically that seems to coming back to bite them.

     

    So Apple shouldn't sell its products to anyone living in Saudi Arabia because they don't like the Saudi leaderhip? Do you think Apple agrees with all the policies of all the governments of the countries it sells its products in? How is that relevant, at all? Trust me, I'm not a fan of the Saudi gvt- not in the least. But I don't see this deal as the equivalent of Apple being in bed with the Saudi gvt. 

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    I don't see the equivalence there. Apple, creator of amazing product available to the world. Saudi royal family, financiers of terrorist. Can you explain what Apple has to do with drones?

     

    What an utterly stupid comment. Do you know how many billions/trillions of trade the US does with Saudi, including joint military exercises and having US bases in the country? So if the US in bed with "financiers of terrorists", why the hell can't Apple sell its products in the country?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    Sorry, but what does the Saudi Royal family have to do with a deal between Apple and a bookstore chain?

     

    Absolutely nothing. But like so many other innocuous relations, things like this enrage is xenophobes, islamophobes, bigots, and racists. Facts don't matter much. Its sad that many people who love Apple products can't also learn a thing or two from the company's values. 

  • Reply 18 of 24
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    Apple could not care less who they deal with as long as their profits go higher and higher.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Doubt it.  Western women are not very welcome in Saudi Arabia.


     

    Complete Bullshit. There was a ton of European/Western women last time I was in Saudi. As long as they follow some basic dress code etiquette, in accordance to the society they're in (ie, throw a loose shawl over their head and dont show a ton of skin) then there's nothing wrong. Not welcome by whom? The Saudi people? The Saudi gvt? What a clueless comment based on ignorant and xenophobia. 


    My mistake. I should have written "Businesswomen", which is what I meant, not simply women. It is quite well documented that culturally, business negotiations in Saudi Arabia virtually exclude women, although there are many Saudi businesses owned by women.

  • Reply 20 of 24
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    My mistake. I should have written "Businesswomen", which is what I meant, not simply women. It is quite well documented that culturally, business negotiations in Saudi Arabia virtually exclude women, although there are many Saudi businesses owned by women.


     

    In that case, I would agree with you. Specificity helps.

     

    I definitely disagree with the guidelines set on women in Saudi, as well as the restrictions. It is a unique code that is found nowhere else in any other predominantly Muslim country, and has nothing to do with Islam. I won't defend it. However, the country IS making slow progress in this regard and I expect things to improve further. My issue with most of the posts in this thread is that Apple's decision to sell its products officially in the country has nothing to do with these policies, nor should it.   

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