Apple in talks to set up retail stores in Saudi Arabia

“Apple and Amazon are in licensing discussions with Riyadh on investing in Saudi Arabia, two sources told Reuters, part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s push to give the conservative kingdom a high-tech look,” Katie Paul reports for Reuters. “A third source confirmed that Apple was in talks with SAGIA, Saudi Arabia’s foreign investment authority. Both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia via third parties but they and other global tech giants have yet to establish a direct presence.”

“Amazon’s discussions are being led by cloud computing division Amazon Web Services (AWS), which would introduce stiff competition in a market currently dominated by smaller local providers like STC and Mobily,” Paul reports. “A licensing agreement for Apple stores with SAGIA is expected by February, with an initial retail store targeted for 2019, said two sources familiar with the discussions.”

“Apple already holds second place in the Saudi mobile phone market behind Samsung, according to market researcher Euromonitor,” Paul reports. “While Saudi reform plans call for luring foreign investment broadly across sectors, officials have courted Silicon Valley players especially strongly over the past two years to complement their high-tech ambitions. Prince Mohammed is an avowed technophile and has styled himself a disrupter in the model of Steve Jobs… ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Much change is now occurring in Saudi Arabia.

SoftBank and Saudi Arabia settled their differences to create world’s biggest tech fund; $100 billion fund has won Apple’s commitment – May 19, 2017
Saudi retailer announces opening of first Apple stores – December 20, 2014
Apple cleared to operate and market products in Saudi Arabia – May 22, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulah conducts his business via Apple’s revolutionary iPad 3G – September 6, 2010
Mobily signs up 25,000 Saudi iPhone 3G subscribers within hours of launch – February 23, 2009


      1. Only if you crossed a line somewhere and angered somekne in power or to make a public example. After hours the drink smoke gambilng and other crazy things come out. It is like the exact opposite of what they publically posture. I know i whitnessed this in 2000. If your in the golden circle anythings with in reach and yiur protected with a code of silence.

    1. I think this being allowed is also an olive branch by the Crown Prince to modernize Saudi customs.

      Won’t be done overnight but I believe he sees the U.A.E and Jordan and wants his populace more diversified in thought.

      His alliance as the richest Arab country with Egypt as the most populated against Iran is good for the region and America. Throw in Kuwait plus the aforementioned U.A.E and Jordan to this moderate mix (by Arab standards) and you have a powerful front against Hezbollah, PLO, Hamas, ISIS, Syria’s Assad family and other Iranian proxies such as in Yemen.

      Once Iran’s influence has been co-opted and the U.N defunds UNRWA’s PLO propping (via Trump of course) then I believe the Palestinian issue will finally have room to be settled.

      YES…all this because Apple opens a store in Riyadh!! 😉

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