Featured, Ramblings

Nokia in Kuwait

Nokia in Kuwait is a surprisingly well run operation. I dont want to generalize the whole Middle East, so I’m just going to talk about Kuwait in particular here.

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Now like I said, Nokia really seems to know what they’re doing in Kuwait. I’ve been here a little more than 2 weeks now and I’ve seen tons of people using E71′s and N95-8GB’s with a couple N96′s and E75′s here and there, so whatever they’re doing, its definitely working (Of course there’s the occasional Blackberry and iPhone around too but lets stick to the topic).

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Walk into any of Kuwait’s Malls, and chances are you’ll find a Nokia Store there. Walk into that Nokia Store and you’ll probably see something like this :

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A whole wall of recent phones from Nokia, and a whole bunch of Nokia accessories for you to check out. I’ve been to three major Nokia Stores (in three major malls) and all of them have had this arrangement or something similar.

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And that’s not all. The latest flagship phone released has its special section with a whole bunch of brochures and a list of features to show it off.

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Here we have the Nokia E75 which was released recently, attached to a pair of standard headphones to show off its standard 3.5mm Audio jack, all prepped and ready for you to check out.

The brochures actually have useful information in them, talking about the features of the device :

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While I was taking this picture, one of the Salesmen came around and started talking to me about the Phone. I wanted to see if he actually knew anything about the device, so I asked him a couple questions ranging from Files on Ovi, to Nokia Messaging on the E75 and egads, he seemed to know all of it. Expectedly, there were a few things he didnt know, but I was pretty impressed by how much the guy knew, atleast about the E75, because I was used to Nokia Salespeople often not knowing what the heck I was talking about.

The Nokia E75

When I pulled out my Red E75, he was amazed that I managed to get a Red Color version of the device. Apparently Nokia’s also very clever about what color variants they release in the middle east. Red is known to be the “Royal” color, and a red variant of a device is often released when interest in it seems to be dying down or so. No wonder they had red variants of the E71 and E66 both, right there. Keeping the interest going. In a country where petrol’s cheaper than water, people have the cash to spend on color variants to remain “in style”.

I also noticed that all the handsets there, be it flagship or standard Nokia device, all of them had arabic lettering in addition to the English numbers and alphabets on the device.

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Definitely helpful for the local Arabic speakers here, although I dont think I’d want my E75 with all that on it, cause I dont speak a word of the language hehe.

If all that wasnt enough, there are tons of giant posters around to let you know what phone’s the latest and “in style” at the moment.

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One Mall even had a giant HUGE poster of the Nokia E75 hanging outside :

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Now that’s advertising. The Nokia E75 billboards and posters are all around Kuwait. A lot of my friends who dont know anything about Nokia’s latest, saw my red E75 and said “Hey I’ve seen that phone on billboards around here”.

And earlier I mentioned Accessories. Egads do they have accessories. I think I’ve seen about every Nokia Accessory available here (Except the darn DT-22 Tripod which I’ve been looking for, for years !).

I’ve found a couple rare ones too, like the Nokia SportsTracker Arm Band :

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Which I was tempted to buy, but it was way too expensive for me.

And a couple not so rare ones, like various bluetooth headsets and the Nokia Display Car Kit :

I've been looking for this for ages

And if that wasnt enough for you, if you’ve got the extra cash to spare and want to have a really unique device, Nokia stores here also have a section where they sell jewel-encrusted Nokia devices (I call them Blingphones).

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Tempting, eh ?

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The insanely high prices of the bling’d out devices might scare you away though hehe. Here’s my standard Black N82 vs a Bling’d out N82 :

Bling N82 vs Standard N82

Heh. Still think I’ll stick with mine thank you.

It’s not just the Nokia Store experience that’s great here. Even services like Nokia Maps, actually work pretty fine here. I bought a Navigation license for Nokia Maps to make sure I dont get lost, and it actually works pretty well.

Nokia Maps in Kuwait

Although the points of interest seem to be a bit out of date. It listed a couple restaurants that moved about a year ago, and some malls arnt anywhere on Nokia’s Map of Kuwait (and Malls are a big deal here).

When you think about it, this is how all of Nokia’s Stores should be. I like walking into a store and having the whole arsenal of Nokia accessories right there so I dont have to hunt around. I like that the salesperson I’m talking to actually knows a good amount of info about the device that I’m interested in. I like being able to test and play around with a Nokia phone that I’m thinking of buying, instead of just having to stare at it, through a glass display.

Nokia in Kuwait

Nokia in the Middle East (or atleast Kuwait in this case) have gotten it right. It’s no wonder that they’re doing so well here.

Now if only they’d let the Middle East use Ovi Share and the Ovi Store.

  • http://twitter.com/alpavangkanan Al Pavangkanan

    Great article, great pictures

  • suyog

    Good coverage CJ, nice to know how Nokia is doing in other countries.
    Hey you still have Maps 2.0 on your N82? and could you tell me whats use of share online in stand-by?
    i never saw anything actually updating, though I actually had photo/comments updates in OVI.

  • http://zomgitscj.com/ Clinton Jeff

    Hey Suyog ! Yup I still use Maps v2. I've heard too many reports of Maps v3 being slow on the N82 so i figured I'd stick with this for now lol.
    Share Online usually helps you upload pictures directly from your gallery to your Share on Ovi or Flickr or Pixelpipe account, and the standby plugin helps you keep track of this and comments, but I rarely ever use it to be honest. Shozu does a much better job so I use that if I need to upload pics immediately.

  • http://zomgitscj.com/ Clinton Jeff

    Thanks for stopping by Al ! :)

  • suyog

    I found Maps 3 almost same in terms of performance on my N82. For Share Online plugin, I could never see updates there even though there are updates. Strange.

  • Nithish

    Hey.. I grew up in Kuwait all my life.. and after having such a wonderful Nokia Experiance.. I moved to the USA for college where the words Nokia are synonymous to lowend candybars. :P!!!.

    I agree that Nokia has a great presence in kuwait.. I have so many accessories from the stores at Al-Kout mall and Marina mall.. And now am trying to get my hands on the Bh-503 in US but find it so difficult..

    So yeah.. Nokia Kuwait ROCKS!!!

  • Irkan

    Yes, Nokia dealers in the Gulf are really doing it right, its pretty much the dominating mobile phone brand here. am living in Sultanate of Oman, not that far from Kuwait, and we have the same thing here, in every mall there is a corner for mobile phones, specially nokia phones dealers (we have less malls though).

    the problem is that the retailers here shoot up the prices to the sky in the first month(s). just today i came from a nokia retailer, He actually had the N97 (made in UK). its the first time i see a real N97, it was black, when i asked him about the price he told me its the first one, so its 600 Omani Rials (1 558.404 U.S. dollars). i thought he was kidding … but it turned out that he wasn't :/

  • http://zomgitscj.com/ Clinton Jeff

    True that. The launch prices here are outrageously expensive.

  • Huzefa M Sultan

    Now a new firmware update for Nokia 5800 is available in Kuwait.
    Software Version: V31.0.101
    Its really great changes in Map application specially..
    I was little bored with old software but this new update really gave a new fresh look to my Mobile again i love it ;)
    So far no issues with update.
    Even now OVI features is available in Nokia kuwait.

    Huzefa M Sultan

  • Huzefa M Sultan

    Now a new firmware update for Nokia 5800 is available in Kuwait.
    Software Version: V31.0.101
    Its really great changes in Map application specially..
    I was little bored with old software but this new update really gave a new fresh look to my Mobile again i love it ;)
    So far no issues with update.
    Even now OVI features is available in Nokia kuwait.

    Huzefa M Sultan

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  • Dhul Qarnain

    To Sir/mam

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    Inshallah you have a vacant if your shop so i can help and manage your shop as technician.

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  • http://twitter.com/krishna06 Krishna Murari

    Amman street on the N82. That’s where I lived for years! Good ol Salmiyaah <3

  • Chit-kuwait

    where is the location? i want to know..

  • ShafiqAhmed

    Hi hello ineed Nokia 5220