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

February 22, 2009

iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 9:36 pm

So I said I will probably not buy the iPhone 3G from Mobily but I went today to check it out. After thinking about it I decided to buy the iPhone 3G 8GB with a prepaid 1 year plan. It cost 2255SR and 99SR monthly prepaid. My reasons are:

  1. I transferred my number to Mobily, by doing so I am able to use that number with the Mobily iPhone plan without getting a new phone number.
  2. Supporting authorized devices. Now we have an actual alternative to gray market iPhones.
  3. The iPhone 3G is sold unlocked! You can use any other company’s SIM card.
  4. An actual warranty. “Mashail AlKhaleej”, ex-Nokia dealer, claim they are an official dealer. Yet they sell Italian iPhones.
  5. Price is not as bad as you think. Compared to paying a lot more for an unsupported/non-guaranteed iPhone.

My advice is to either switch your current phone to Mobily and use that number with your iPhone 3G or just use your current phone and you can give the included Mobily number to a friend or family member. In any case I highly recommend buying the official “Saudi Arabia iPhone 3G” over other gray market alternatives.

February 21, 2009

Mobily’s unimpressive iPhone 3G prices in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 7:46 pm

I am very disturbed by the leaked Mobily iPhone 3G pricing in Saudi Arabia. You pay $595 (2255SR) with a 1 year contract ($26 monthly) for the 8GB and you only get 199MB monthly data!

UAE’s Etisalat’s offers are more serious as they offer the iPhone 3G 8GB starting at 0 AED (with 1 year contract) and data plans between 500 and 2000MB!

I will wait for actual confirmation on these prices, but with these deals I have no interest in buying an iPhone 3G from Mobily!

February 12, 2009

Mobily accepting iPhone 3G reservations

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 12:39 pm

Now you reserve your iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia from Mobily by filling the form located here. (via Shufflegazine).

Another thing to note. According to @thamood on twitter: Mobily assured him that they will release the iPhone 3G this Saturday!

February 2, 2009

Official iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia and UAE

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:01 pm

Etisalat in UAE/Mobily in Saudi Arabia announced that they will release the iPhone 3G by the end of February 2008.

No news about Arabic support though.

January 24, 2009

Mobily profits, STC falls

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:25 pm

Itihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second-largest mobile phone operator beat analysts’ fourth-quarter earnings forecasts due to higher revenues from voice and data services. Mobily made 778 million riyals ($207.5 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, 51 percent higher than the 514.4 million riyals ($137.2 million) it made a year-earlier, the firm said in a statement posted on the bourse’s website.” from

STC on the other hand the Arab world’s “largest telecom company” by market value, posted a worse-than-expected 62 percent fall in Q4 profit, on Tuesday, blaming the fall on foreign currency fluctuations. Via as well.

STC should concentrate on improving their services, increasing their coverage and lower their prices! And NOT wasting their money (the customers’ money) on useless deals with Manchester United!!

United are out to land a new £125million shirt sponsorship deal – with Saudi Telecom favourites to get their name on the famous shirt. AIG yesterday confirmed they would not be renewing their £19m-a-year sponsorship deal at the end of next season.

October 7, 2008

Mobily trouble in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 12:45 am

According to Nidal and TheCrazyJogger, Mobily (the second mobile phone operator in Saudi Arabia) is facing problems in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Problems started yesterday and customers still have problems when making calls.

July 17, 2008

Mobily was down because of 2 cable cuts

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 8:32 pm

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) issued a statement this morning apologizing for the sudden outage of Mobily’s mobile network in Saudi Arabia yesterday. They blame Saudi Oger, a Saudi construction company, for the damages to the cable.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) apologized to customers in a statement issued early Thursday morning over an outage Wednesday afternoon (July 16, 2008) in the Central and Eastern regions. Saudi Oger was behind the outage as it cut a major cable of Mobily’s fiberoptic cables – on King Abdullah road in Riyadh, whereas the second cut was in Khurais, 180 kilometers east of Riyadh.

However, Mobily did not mention the cause of the cut to the second cable. Here is the rest of the statement, you can find it online on this link but the URL is relative to the “LastOne” latest post so it will probably be broken if a new item was posted:

Both cables are core to keeping Mobily’s network on air and its customers in touch. In the statement, Mobily said the outage had impacted its customers across the Kingdom. Mobily said it had provided detailed maps and diagrams of where its cables were to Saudi Oger before-hand. Regardless of these preparations, and the fact that the cables were buried under seven meters of concrete, Saudi Oger cut through the major cable and caused the outage. Mobily said that it would find ways to guard against outages caused by similar actions from other contractors in the future. Meanwhile, the outage lasted for almost seven hours through Wednesday afternoon. Mobily rushed its network operations team immediately after the cables were cut. The team worked round the clock and was able to restore service Wednesday night, with customers getting service back from 9:30 PM onwards.

July 16, 2008

Mobily network is down?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 9:54 pm

Apparently Mobily, the second telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia is having major problems with their network. Mobily users say that they don’t have any reception and if you tried to call a person on Mobily from an STC number then you will a “Network Busy” error.

Update: It is 11:30pm and the Mobily network at least in Riyadh is still unavailable.

April 22, 2008

Gitex Riyadh 2008 Review

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:00 am

The show has become a telecommunication show, with STC and Mobily (the 2 telecoms in Saudi Arabia) taking almost half the exhibition space, which is unfortunate, there’s usually a mobile and telecommunications show and there is no reason to merge it into Gitex. The other “part” of Gitex was simply computer resellers offering their products.

A few years ago, before Gitex was held in Riyadh, the same building used now was holding a “computer show” which is simply a reseller exhibition where they offer promotions and discounts, no innovation at all.

Asking non-“computer geeks” about the show and what do they think about it, they are under the impression that this is a “telecommunications first and computer sales” show. I guess thats enough for the REC organizers who are paying the license to Gitex. Asking others who attended “real” computer exhibitions like “CeBit” and “Gitex Dubai” the original Gitex and they would say that the complete building of REC expo is only as small as one of the many halls in CeBit or Gitex Dubai.

One of the only innovative thing was AMD showing their new triple core CPUs. Unfortunately, the stand where the AMD distributor (Almasa) was not finished in the first day of Gitex (and honestly I have no reason to return) and Almasa’s site is not mentioning Gitex in their news section. Another is Zai, a local PC OEM, announcing a deal with nVidia to offer gaming PCs this is new for the market because almost no high end video cards appear in the local market, only 2 stores ( PATH and Softland/Binaries ) offer them at extremely high prices ( almost %40 added to the original price ). And that’s the only news I found about Gitex from Google News.

Other companies to note: Samsung, Panasonic (with their new AVCHD cameras), a full section Taiwanese companies looking for local dealers. Also in the exhibition: CITC, MCIT, Sadad Payment System( a Saudi IT project, they even had a new iMac on display, best part of Gitex Riyadh 😉 ), Garmin dealers ( I question the need for that in this show), Riyadh School (again, why?), HTC, i-mate, ITE (Logitech distributor in UAE) I thought we already had a Logitech distributor in Saudi Arabia, Mishaal Sudairy, they got a very old and outdated page though, who redirects his domain to some other subdomain? that’s just unprofessional.

Missing from the show: Microsoft (for the second or third year now), Apple, Sony, Intel, Hitachi (they had an amazing stand last year).

The Gitex Shopper had nothing to offer, just “cheap” laptops and a total mess.

The REC Expo building is the same old building with very bad parking arrangements. The entrance to the expo was a total mess, people pushing, no organization at all.

My rating of the show? 2/5. Considering it was a bit bitter, I mean better, than last years’ show which I give it a 1/5. So again: don’t bother, just go to Gitex in Dubai in a few months, it will be worth your time. Anything is better than this.

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