Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has won the license to operate in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi newspaper Al Eqtisadiyah reported Wednesday. The license was issued by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority. Now, a new subsidiary of the tech giant, Saudi Arabia Apple Company, will provide marketing and maintenance of it products including the iPhone, iPad, MacBook and iPod.
Apple has a strong fan base in Saudi Arabia
The report said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will also be involved in IT development and training in the country. Apple’s Saudi website doesn’t offer products online. Consumers who want to buy products from the company’s website are given locations to the brick-and-mortar stores of its official resellers Mobily, STC and Zain. Last year, Dubai-based electronics retailer EMS opened Saudi Arabia’s largest Apple store in Jeddah under the name PixelParc. PixelParc also offers customer training and technical support services.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a strong fan base in Saudi Arabia. But the company still doesn’t have its own retail store or online Apple store in the country. Fans have built a website We Want Apple Saudi Arabia, demanding that the U.S. company be granted permission to operate directly in the country. Due to lack of its direct presence, many Apple users have had bad experiences with its distributors such as Arab Business Machines and Arab Computers.
Apple granted Saudi license ahead of the iPhone 6 launch
Looks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Saudi fans are set for a treat. The license grant comes as the tech giant will reportedly launch its widely anticipated big screen iPhone 6, which is expected to be announced in September. Besides larger screen, the iPhone 6 is likely to have NFC integration, waterproof design, sapphire glass display, A8 processor, iOS 8, and an improved camera with optical image stabilization. Apple first entered the Saudi Arabian market with the launch of the iPhone 3G by making a deal with Mobily.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares fell 0.10% to $604.15 at 9:32 AM EDT on Wednesday. The stock has gained 9% this year so far.