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.

August 5, 2008

Should we do Navteq’s work for them?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:17 pm

After over a month after I emailed Navteq telling them that their maps are out of date (on Nokia phones and Garmin Nuvi GPS devices), they finally responded telling me about their “Navteq Map Reporter” service by visiting this site then browsing the Navteq map database and highlighting the errors in that map.

I would recommend that everyone in Saudi Arabia who uses a Navteq supported device (Nokia phones and Garmin mainly) to use that service. Hopefully this will push them into actually giving us a 2008 map that is from this year (unlike Garmin City Navigator 2008 Middle East map that have stores that were closed in 2004!).

May 5, 2008

What I did with my Nokia N95

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:19 am

Since Nokia’s so-called official dealer “mashail AlKhaleej” decided not to repair my phone, even when I offered to pay them for repair. A valid request if you ask me, who else better to repair the phone than the certified engineers? They said NO to me. And Nokia’s support telephone line offered me no valid solution at all.

So what did I do? I went to one of the local, no-dealer, mobile phone stores in Riyadh and they repaired it for a total of 600 Riyals. The cost included a new Screen and an IC (Integrated Chip). And the store told me they found no traces of water in the phone, none that would cause the “Liquid Damage” claimed by mashail AlKhaleej.

My conclusion from all that? Being a Nokia (fan according to my friends). I’ve been using Nokia devices since the “Nokia Banana”, the one in the first Matrix movie. And every phone I bought for myself or a family member I always made sure to buy a mashail AlKhaleej supported model. Not anymore, mashail AlKhaleej for me now is just an expensive store with bad service and support.

One last interesting point, when I posted my issues on a Nokia forum, most of the members asked me to take the phone to another Nokia dealer and they should fix it under the “Nokia Warranty”. So Nokia’s warranty covers all the “dealers” yet when you buy a Nokia phone in Saudi Arabia, you only get a warranty from a single dealer instead of directly from Nokia. This goes against Nokia’s warranty policy:

If you wish to make a claim under this Limited Warranty, please return your Product or the affected part (if it is not the entire Product) to a Nokia authorized service company.

You can’t take a Nokia phone bought from mashail AlKhaleej and ask Etisalat (another Nokia dealer) to service it. They will immediately refuse to repair it.

February 18, 2008

Nokia Map software updated – Saudi map still outdated

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:38 pm

Nokia released Nokia Maps 2.0 Beta. It features a new interface and much smoother graphics.

On the other hand, the map data for Saudi Arabia is still outdated. There are many new roads still missing from the maps. And in terms of finding points of interest, don’t waste your time. The data is only useful if you travel back in time 🙂 or you have to enter your own data in it to make it relevant.

Hopefully NavTeq (the maps provider) will update their data soon. edit: and still no mac Nokia Map Loader software.

December 14, 2007

Bricked my N95 after an update. Nokia says “You got water in it!”

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 6:35 pm

So sorry for the lack of updates! Just thought I’d post my issues with Nokia’s N95 which is now an expensive brick :(. This is the email I sent to Nokia:

I’ve been using Nokia phones since 1997, Nokia 7110, 8310, 6210, etc. Only using Nokia and recommending it to my friends and family. I bought a Nokia N95 late April 2007 and I made sure to bought a “mashail alkhaleej” warranty phone, because they claim they are the only official Nokia distributor in Saudi Arabia. Last month I wanted to update my N95 firmware to v13, I already did a previous update so I am fully aware of the process. I did my backup and ran the update, at the final steps, the one that said “Remove the battery of the phone to restart it”, I did so but when I tried to restart it all I got was a black screen. Essentially bricking my N95. I took my phone to the so-called official distributor to have a look at it, after a week at the maintenance shop of “mashail alkhaleej” they notified me that the phone had “water” inside and refused to repair my phone at all. My phone was working perfectly before doing the update, and the “engineer” at the Nokia distributor claims I dropped it in water, which I did not. Now I am stuck with a brick that costed me 3000SR and no way to recover my backup from the flash memory card. I demand my phone to be repair or replaced under it’s warranty. The warranty that made me make my buying choice. The money that I paid for the phone was a complete waste and I should have bought a cheaper phone from a better distributor (Sony Ericsson, Apple, Samsung, LG, Siemens, Motorlla).

I expect Nokia will give me a better response than the crappy Mashail AlKaleej, the so-called Nokia official distributor in Saudi Arabia. I will never buy a Nokia again. (All salute the iPhone 😉 )

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