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

November 1, 2009

Mobily’s site runs on outdated Apache for Windows?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:07 am

Update: looking at Netcraft, the server keeps changing from WebSEAL/ Build 031024 to IBM_HTTP_Server/ Apache/2.0.47 Win32. So the Apache server must be temporary.

Mobily (second mobile carrier in Saudi Arabia and the country’s exclusive iPhone 3G/3GS provider) is using Apache/2.0.47 (Win32), an extremely outdated version of Apache! Running it on Windows is also a horrible idea!

That explains why is their site functions so slowly. Thanks (haythamkhouja, waiel and yraffah) for pointing this out!

Yousef posted a screen shot on his website, here.

October 16, 2009

iPhone 3GS in Saudi Arabia from Mobily on October 27th

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:44 pm

Update 6: This could be the final update. iPhone 3GS in Saudi Arabia on November 7th. If you did not receive an SMS from mobily then you might have a problem with your pre-order!

Update 5: Mobily iPhone 3GS prices and release date. SaudiMac is having server problems from the webhost and we are working with them to get it back up.

Update 4: Mobily did not send an SMS regarding the iPhone 3GS until now, so there is a possibility that the iPhone 3GS won’t be released October 27th as expected. Did Etisalat UAE decide to abandon their Saudi partner?

Update 3: Mobily is now taking orders for the iPhone 3GS. موبايلي فتحت باب حجز جوال الآيفون الجديد في موقعها.

Update 2: Mobily issued a press release that they will release the iPhone 3GS (nothing new there).

Update: Etisalat has confirmed that they will launch the iPhone 3GS on the same day.

It is all but officially confirmed, the Apple iPhone 3GS will be available in Saudi Arabia officially by Mobily.

Etisalat and du in UAE are taking pre-orders for the iPhone 3GS. Du made a deal with Axiom, which is odd considering that Axiom is decieving Mobily and Apple in Saudi Arabia.


I will keep you updated with what’s going to happen regarding the Saudi iPhone 3GS on SaudiMac and the Arabic edition سعودي ماك.

October 7, 2009

A new STC ad makes fun of Mobily’s slowness

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:26 pm

I see a pattern here. STC‘s newest ad makes fun of Mobily‘s Broadband @ home slow Internet speed.

The ad is a parody of a Mobily ad (which I will post once I find it) where a guy wears goggles to face the “speed” of the Internet connection by Mobily.

Quick translation: (preparing to download a file) Guy: “Are you ready?” Announcer: “Are you surprised by the truth?” (on screen: 4 hours to finish download) Announcer: “Your only solution is AFAQ DSL SHAMIL, fastest Internet in Saudi Arabia”.

October 6, 2009

New Mobily ad takes a shot at STC’s slowness

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:12 am

Mobily attacks their biggest competitor, STC with their latest ad starring Saudi actor Youssef Al Jarrah “يوسف الجراح”. Here’s the ad (Arabic video) and and English translation:

Here’s the translation:

left: (talking to his new born child). right: congratulations, what will you name him? left: Nawaf (Neefo as a nickname) Oh yeah you reminded me (dials the phone) I will order Internet access for him. right: Internet for the newborn? left: It will be turn once he enters college. ad guy: with Broadband @ home get the Internet immediately from Mobily. left: God help them, “all our operators are currently busy”.

The ad takes a shot at STC’s slow support system and to be honest I had my shares of waiting for over 30 minutes for an STC operator. Mobily: Where’s my iPhone 3GS?

September 19, 2009

STC and Mobily ad wars (part 2)

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 5:18 am

The ad war between the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily continues. After STC’s response to Mobily. Mobily has aired the following ad on 9/9/2009. The Mobily employee warns against using inferior products shown by “their brothers”, meaning STC. In the end he said “beware of fake products”.

CITC is being quiet about it. But a few days later STC has edited their ad to remove the “fake device” and Mobily has stopped airing their ad mentioned in this post.

I found this interesting comic on Alriyadh newspaper:


The title is “ad wars” and the two women in this ad are dressed in the traditional logo colors of STC and Mobily. Guess the ad war is good for the consumer, no?

This is not the first ad war between the 2 companies. It happened before in 2006 and you can read about it on Arab News.

September 7, 2009

Saudi Telecom (STC) and Mobily ad wars

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:32 am

The eternal feud between the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily will never end apparently.

Starting this Ramadan Mobily has aired some ads showing their Mobily Broadband @ Home service. This ad shows a person installing a DSL land line, happily saying “they are finally installing the Internet”, he did not say “finally” but his expressions show that he is happy that he finally got his DSL Internet connection (from STC).

This second ad is about the wireless features of the modem, it reminds me of the good old days of dial up modems (oh wait, STC DSL still feels like a dial up modem sometimes). The third ad shows people screaming in frustration with their disconnected Internet connections (something I am sure everyone in Saudi Arabia has experienced).

So on September 6th, STC has aired a counter advertisement which ironically airs at the same time as Mobily ads:

The ad clearly copied how Mobily customer care desks looked like, the blue square logo on the modem and how the modem looked. The customers were trying to get a good signal by extending the modem out of the window. The guy using STC’s service said “they got screwed”.

I am no fan of Mobily; their billing system is inaccurate and they are ruining the iPhone 3G/3GS experience in Saudi Arabia (I got into the details at SaudiMac). STC isn’t any better; Mobily is truly the lesser evil of the two.

July 7, 2009

Where is the Mobily iPhone 3GS?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 12:52 am

Make sure to visit SaudiMac for more iPhone 3GS news.
تابعونا في موقع سعودي ماك لأخبار الآيفون.

Apple announced and released the iPhone 3GS last June. Saudi Arabia and UAE won’t get the iPhone 3GS until August 2009.

My theory (conspiracy theory) is because Mark Davis, Program Director for iPhone at etisalat was not quiet about the next iPhone. He said (in February 2009) “And the next version of the device, which is due out in June, will be launched in the UAE at the same time.” The next version of the device was released in June but it was not launched in the UAE at the same time, probably because you couldn’t make a real deal with Apple!

Another thing that annoys me is this, the iPhone 3G sold by Mobily is officially unlocked by Apple yet Mobily employees claim that it is locked until now! Here’s a message from a friend “the next iPhone 3GS would be locked As per mobily marketing team”. Locked?? against CITC‘s regulations regarding locked devices? Mobily need to get a clue on what they are doing!

We are closely approaching the iPhone 3GS release month (Mobily hasn’t announced a date) and Mobily hasn’t mde any announcements or even decide to reduce the prices of the current iPhone 3G!

One more thing, a Mobily employee did show me his iPhone 3GS that the company gave some of it’s employees for testing purposes. But there is nothing to test really, the iPhone 3GS is fully functional under Mobily, tethering and MMS work fine. I think he was just showing off. He didn’t know anything about the exact release date or price.

April 18, 2009

All you need to know about Gitex Saudi Arabia 2009

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:58 am

Riyadh Exhibitions Company has finally updated their website just in time for Gitex Saudi Arabia 2009 in Riyadh. Probably not the best design but it is an improvement over the old one.

As usual it’s mainly a shopping exhibition: Gitex Saudi Arabia 2009 and Gitex Saudi Arabia Computer Shopper 2009. I am not looking forward to “WAP Technology” and “ASP Business Host”.

When is the event? Gitex Saudi Arabia will be from the 19th to 23rd of April 2009.

How to get to the new exhibition building? Just follow the direction on this link (even though it claims it is in Lebanon for some reason).

Who are the participants? As usual STC and Mobily (Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunication companies) are participating. Which I think is a bad idea and a waste of space. I was given a list of participating companies which you can find in this PDF file.

I have been extremely busy with some family matters so I don’t think I might be even able to attend. You will be able to find coverage at Tech WD (Arabic tech website).

March 23, 2009

Remember this when buying an iPhone 3G from Mobily

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

Mobily’s method of billing is always billed each month. No matter how late in the month you start your contract. For example they billed the 6 days between 22nd and 28th of February 2008 as a full month.

So remember to buy the iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia from Mobily at the beginning of the month, the first 5 days if you ask me.

March 3, 2009

What you need to know about the iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:53 pm

The iPhone 3G is finally in Saudi Arabia and is provided by Mobily. Here’s what you need to know:

The Bundles

Mobily first announced these 4 bundles and two of those “prepaid” plans did not make any sense! A few days later they provided 6 more “postpaid” bundles. However they omitted one small requirement for these bundles is that you need to be a Mobily VIP customer!


The Employees

The Mobily employees were clueless on the first day and clueless now! One of them even said, in response to the VIP bundles: “نحن لا نريد أن يحصل كل من هب و دب على آيفون” which means “we do not want just anyone to have an iPhone!”. There are even weirder Mobily stories on the first few days where some of the employees claim that the iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia is LOCKED to the Mobily SIM card.

Locked Device?

The Saudi Arabia iPhone 3G was tested with different SIM cards and it is unlocked! It is confirmed by Apple so when a Mobily employee claims that the iPhone 3G is locked then they are lying and you should ask for his manager.

Arabic Support

Mobily claims an Arabic update from Apple is coming “soon”. They claim 3 months which is TOO LONG! You can jailbreak and buy iPhoneislam’s Arabtaller.

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