Why don’t we have an Apple Store in Saudi Arabia?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world and its people are known to have exquisite rich tastes. Their rich taste extends from the best of clothing to the best of cars and naturally in this modern day and age, the best of smartphones and other gadgets too. Today the world is truly divided by the Apple vs. The Android argument which is supported heavily on both sides. Those who prefer Apple products swear by them and do not use any other product. Android smartphones and Windows phones come in various price ranges and models and hence are affordable to each class of people.[irp]

Since Saudis love exquisite things they naturally love apple products. Around the world, apple products are generally sold in outlets called The Apple Store. The Apple Store is a retail store chain which is operated and owned by Apple Inc. the retail store deals with everything Apple including phones, computers and other gadgets made by the company. These stores are stocked with the iPads, iPods, iPhones, MacBook’s to the iMacs (my personal favorite). The stores have now also been stocked with the brand-new Apple Watches.

These stores offer a Genius bar where staff offers technical support to the customers and offer repair services as well as free demonstrations and workshops to the customers. Some high-end Apple stores even have a theater which is used for presentations and a studio where you can train with the Apple products. Ron Johnson the former Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple ins. Is primarily responsible for turning these Apple stores into fun filled playrooms stocked with Apple gadgets and has helped remove the boring computer shop vibe from the Apple store. These retail Apple stores are available in 16 countries around the world and the online Apple store is available in 39 countries.

Even though Saudi Arabia has such a high demand for Apple products the people of Saudi Arabia do not have a single Apple store outlet in the Kingdom. These Apple stores benefit the people and customers of the place where they are located as they offer the customers to physically try out the products and see whether they would be able to use it. They can learn something which they wanted to clarify before buying the products. Official repair facilities at the Apple store, although a bit more expensive, have far better service than most repair shops.[irp]

By not opening an Apple store in the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Apple Inc. has deprived a major chunk of their loyal customers of free technical assistance and other facilities provided at these Apple stores. This has left the Apple users in the Kingdom to rely on general repairing services or online advice on forums to figure out any technical aspect they might not understand of their Apple products. Saudis can, however, find Apple stores in other GCC countries for instance in the UAE where the world biggest Apple Store is under construction.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.