Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

May 29, 2009

Nokia in Saudi Arabia: Screw the consumers

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:20 pm

Update: This will happen again with the new Nokia N900 that will be released in Saudi Arabia soon.

I had high hopes when Nokia decided to officially enter the Saudi Arabia market (through their Nokia Stores) that the prices of the Nokia phones will be reduced to more acceptable rates. But instead those Nokia stores are doing what I can only describe as price gouging.

I will quickly explain “price gouging” as I will talk more about price gouging tech in Saudi Arabia. Price gouging is a pejorative term for a seller pricing much higher than is considered reasonable or fair.

nokia-e75Let’s start with the Nokia E75. Before the phone was released the Saudi Arabia Nokia Stores took pre-orders on the phone. You had to pay 100SR deposit and pay the rest later. The phone was sold for about 1,900SR for pre orders only. But when the phone was released it was sold for 2,300SR. Now it cost 2,199SR. These prices were for the “black” Nokia E75 only. The red edition of the phone (same features) was only released this week and it cost 2,499SR. So you are paying 300SR (almost $100) more just to get a different color. The 2 phones are identical in every way, both are sold for the same price at Amazon.com. This is neither reasonable nor fair.

The pricing on the Nokia E75 is not fair for Saudi Arabia as well. The Saudi custom fee is cheap on electronics. Yet the Nokia E75 is sold in by Amazon.com for $450 (1,750SR) much cheaper than 2,200-2,500SR sold by the Nokia Store. The E75 is sold in Jordan for what’s equivalent to 1,880SR! But to be fair the Nokia E75 is sold by Amazon.de (in Germany) for 382 EUR (1,988SR). Update: Nokia E75 is sold in the eastern province branch of Hyperpanda for only 1,990SR! Thanks Ahmed for reminding me.

nokia-n97The second example is the upcoming Nokia N97. The Saudi Nokia Store is beginning to take pre-orders for the the phone and the posters only showed the white model. I expect they will do the same as what they did with Nokia E75 red and gouge the price even more. The expected price of the Nokia N97 in Saudi Arabia will be 3,400SR! The N97 is expected to be sold for 3,000Dh in the UAE!

On Amazon.com the Nokia N97 will be sold for $604 (2,300SR). You read this right! 1,000SR difference! In the German Amazon.de website it will be for 650 EUR (3,384SR). Not reasonable or fair, isn’t it?

This is just Nokia’s way of thanking the Saudi Arabia market, by overcharging us for their phones. What do you think? Is Nokia justified with these prices?