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Apple has been given the green light by the Saudi Arabian government to fully operate in the region, according to tips from readers and local news reports. SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority) provided the license to Apple under the subsidiary name of “Apple, Saudi Arabia.” This license gives Apple the ability to market, maintain, and develop products in the region…

PixelParc, largest Apple reseller in Saudi Arabia

PixelParc, an Apple reseller in Saudi Arabia

Up until now, Apple has relied on third-party resellers across the region to market and maintain iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple products. As still noted on Apple’s non-optimized website for Saudi Arabia, the Cupertino-based company currently operates in the region under its Cork, Ireland-based subsidiary named “Apple Distribution International.”

For years, Apple fans in Saudi Arabia have been asking the government to officially license Apple, but it is unclear if Apple actually has plans to open up official retail stores in the region. Apple’s latest iPhones went on sale in Saudi Arabia last fall to strong demand. In 2012, Apple moved its iTunes services into the region with an optimized iTunes Music Store.

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21 Responses to “Apple cleared to operate and market products in Saudi Arabia”

  1. And rightly so in my opinion

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  2. more importantly is is having Apple products WITH FaceTime. Because Apple products in Saudi Arabia do not have FaceTime, which is unfair because Customers there pay the same amount of money as others around the world.

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    • Why is it unfair when the problem is Saudi Arabia’s government and nothing to do with Apple?

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      • It is not the Saudi government actually! Saudi gets the same supply as the United Arab Emirates(UAE) which bans FaceTime, Skype and other online calling services. Saudi does not! :(

        So now we’re hoping we get our own supply(FaceTime ban linked to model #s), and to save us the time and money of searching for iPhones from HK,UK or other countries in the black market!

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  3. Apple likes to talk up it’s stance on equal marriage and equality in the workplace, but when it comes to the bottom line, all they really care about is money. No company with any moral conscience would operate in a medieval hell hole like Saudi Arabia, where women have no rights, gay people are murdered by the state, ad if you should ever develop the powers of logic and want to leave religion, well, you better run for your life.

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    • Dude, you totally have the wrong idea about my country, however, the things you have said is kinda true, but that was in the past 20 years. I don’t say that no one still has no mercy with women, but very few.
      Have you ever visited Saudi Arabia and saw what you have said by your eyes?
      Please be respectful and aware of the people you talked about in your comments.
      I am a Saudi citizen and I’m proud of that. If Apple saw that Saudi Arabia not a good place to get license from, so it won’t even try to negotiate with the government.

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      • Yet in 2014 the law in Saudi Arabia sentences homosexuals to death for having consensual sex – that doesn’t even address the situation of rape victims being charged, beheadings and amputations for crimes where the criminal should be sent to prison for rehabilitation and not the authorities feeding the blood lust for revenge that seems to dominate a still very much tribal and backwards culture.

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      • Oh yeah don’t talk about a country that you haven’t been to ,LOL. Well dude we don’t have to go to hell to understand how it feels like. Let me tell you something you probably don’t know about your country. You guys are on top of the racism chart , and feel free to deny that, and talking about religion, which you absolutely have nothing to do with,LOL. You guys travel just to throw off your veils. And yes I’ve been to Saudi Arabia for just a year. And for the one who is saying that Saudi is a member of the G20, dude your country if from the third world,LOL. You guys need like thousand light years of working to know what does a civilized nation looks like. And Apple didn’t just invest in SA because wow we love you guys. You guys have the money thats the main point

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    • Have you ever been to Saudi Arabia?, I am 100% sure you haven’t been there!

      Please don’t talk about a country and a culture you have no idea about!

      Saudi Arabia is a member of the G20, and all the UN agencies, the country is civilized and modern and everyone has an equal right granted by the religion that all the Saudi citizens embrace and believe in!

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      • “Please don’t talk about a country and a culture you have no idea about!”

        Why is he wrong? the laws say xyz and that is a fact – you complaining on 9to5mac won’t change that fact. Don’t like the law than either do something to change it (revolution etc) or keep quiet about your claims of misrepresentation.

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    • I am Saudi Woman. I am proud of my country and my ppl. Yes I can not drive which is big mistake, but this governmental mistake should not prohibit ppl in Saudi from having good services, this is not thier mistake. thank you

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      • Tallest Skil says:

        From what I understand, the new laws allowing women to vote and hold positions in your… sorry, whatever the equivalent of your federal legislature is… should make great strides in alleviating this. Do you have the same outlook? Do you imagine that within this decade, the driving law, for example, may be repealed?

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      • IDK why I can not click reply to you comment. Anyway, I am not that much into politics, or political decisions, but what I am sure of is that we are developing as any society around the world. We love our country, we love life and we hope for the best for it. I guess the situation is not that bad as the western media show it, at least not for me, I guess for me I am the happiest girl alive thanks to my great family . And yes allowing women to drive is happening soon.

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    • Apple is a corporation, not a person, when it comes to moral conscience they have one as much as their iphones and ipads. Its a machine whose only job is to sell its products, if it does not sell its products it will die off, it does not owe anything to you or the LGBT community or to saudi arabia. Their job is to give you an iphone after youve paid them and nothing more.

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  4. been to saudi a couple of times (business and private) and will never ever go back (Muslim here by the way). Sorry but the sad truth is it is a horrific country since racism is beyond imagination.
    What culture? Showing off? Feel like u own others cause daddy is spending on u?
    Work…someone plz tell me why they take passports from the foreigner employees and give them a hard time to travel and even sometimes not pay salaries. It is a fact and if someone denies that then u know nothing about ur own country. Slavery is there to stay.
    Enough said.
    Yeah apple suck money out of them before they ran out of money in the next 15 years.

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  5. That is the whole idea. Now when Apple is losing ground to other players, it is doing the same tricks in the Arabian world as the BlackBerry is doing in Indonesia. Why Apple didn’t think of Saudis earlier? KSA is undoubtedly one of the biggest market for Apple

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    • Actually I wouldn’t say KSA is ‘one of the biggest markets for Apple’ their users here barely exceed the 1 million mark, now I don’t think that that is a ‘big market’, but it’s still a market, though.

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