Apple has never had an official retail presence of any kind in the Middle East, until now. Thanks to a deal struck with Jarir Bookstore, Apple is directly providing its products in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian government cleared Apple to operate in the country a couple of months ago. The agreement with Jarir will have Apple working with Saudi Arabia’s largest books and electronics retailer.
Previously, Jarir had to go through third-party vendors to get its hands on Apple products, which took three to six months. Apple will not only be supplying Jarir directly, but also offer technical support for Saudi customers. Jarir will be able to sell Apple hardware at cheaper prices now that it doesn’t have to go through third-party providers.
Apple opened up the iTunes Store in the Middle East in December of 2012. It was reported in 2011 that Apple was opening up its first Middle Eastern retail store in Dubai, but that didn’t pan out.
Tim Cook visited the United Arab Emirates earlier this year to discuss how Apple can develop its relationships with carriers in nearby countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria. “We are all about making great products that people don’t know they need today but when they have them, they can’t live without,” said Cook at the time. “We would like to bring our passion to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Africa.”
- Source Al Arabiya News