Apple already sells its products in Saudi Arabia through third parties but if a new report is to be believed, the company might open its first official retail store in the country in 2019. Apple is said to be in licensing discussions with Riyadh on investing in the Kingdom. Even Amazon is said to be interested in selling its own products in Saudi Arabia.
Reuters hears from multiple sources that Apple is in talks with the Kingdom’s foreign investment authority SAGIA. A licensing agreement is expected to be signed in a couple of months ahead of the store’s 2019 launch.
Amazon’s discussions with officials in the country are reportedly being led by the company’s cloud computing division Amazon Web Services. Smaller local providers like STC and Mobily currently provide cloud computing services in Saudi Arabia. Amazon’s arrival will certainly increase competition in the market.
Even though Apple is expected to ink a licensing agreement by February next year, the report mentions that talks with Amazon are in earlier stages and that no specific date has been set as yet for investment plans.
Despite not having an official retail presence in the country, Apple is second behind Samsung in Saudi Arabia’s smartphone market according to market researcher Euromonitor. Having a full-fledged retail store will certainly raise the profile of its products in the Kingdom and also offer repair services to customers.
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