Categories
Apple

Places in Kuwait Selling the Apple Vision Pro

Since the Apple Authorized Resellers won’t be selling the Apple Vision Pro anytime soon, the only way to get your hands on one locally is through the grey market.

Ordering online and shipping to Kuwait isn’t an option and I’m glad I canceled my Vision Pro order before it shipped. Turns out if an item is valued at more than $2,500, then it’s considered high valued and requires a special process to ship it. Shop & Ship have a page about it where you can read more on this.

So far, I’ve found five stores in Kuwait that sell it, @alfuhod, @bestalyousifi, @emarketkw, @mobile2000 and @soooq.global. Here are their prices for the 256GB version:

Alfuhod: 1,399.9KD
Best: 1,299.9KD
eMarket: 1,399.9KD
Mobile2000: 1,279KD
Soooq: 1,279KD

In comparison, it costs around 1,155KD for the Vision Pro with tax in the US. Add around 20KD to ship to Kuwait (if it was easy to do), and that would bring the total to around 1,175KD. Paying 104KD premium and getting it from Mobile2000 for example, isn’t actually that bad.
If you’re interested, according to Best, their next shipment arrives on Tuesday. If you know of another place in Kuwait selling the Vision Pro, let me know.

Categories
Apple

Are you getting an Apple Vision Pro?

Apple launched the pre-orders for the Apple Vision Pro this past Friday and I’m still undecided on it.

I definitely think it has a lot of potential, but at 1,150 KD it’s crazy expensive. I ended up pre-ordering one on Saturday since by then the delivery date had moved back to March which gives me some time to decide. I figured depending on how much money I make from advertising this month, and depending on the reviews that come out, I could decide to get one or just cancel my order.

I’m still trying to figure out what I could use it for. I think it could be a second TV, but I also like the idea of being transported some where else. I don’t know, I’m curious to have one and see where this technology is going to go, but the cheapest Apple Vision Pro which is 256GB comes out to around 1,200 KD shipped to Kuwait. The device itself costs 1,080 KD, but if you ship to MyUS.com there is additional $244 tax on top of it (more if you ship to Shop&Ship). Then calculate around 20KD to ship to Kuwait, you’re looking at close to 1,200KD. Crazy for something that I have no idea what I will use it for.

Did you pre-order one?

Categories
Apple Apps

TEC Ticketing App

Earlier today, TEC opened their Blajat project, and just a few moments ago, they also launched their TEC booking app.

It’s a one stop app for all their projects including Blajat, Winter Wonderland, as well as their second entertainment park, the South Subahiya Park which is opening right after Winter Wonderland.

Currently, this app is only available for iOS devices but the Android version is coming soon. To download the app, head to the app store and search for TEC Kuwait.

Categories
Apple

Pre-Order you iPhone 15 Tonight

The pre-orders for the new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro will go live tomorrow September 22nd, but some authorized resellers like Xcite are going to go live from midnight tonight.

So if you were hoping to be one of the first to get the new iPhones at retail prices, you most likely need to pre-order to get your hands on one early. Here are the list of authorized Apple resellers in Kuwait according to Apple:

Alpha
Carrefour
Digits
Eureka
Gait
Lulu Hypermarket
Virgin
Xcite

Categories
Apple

iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Prices in Kuwait

Yesterday I posted that the new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro will be launching in Kuwait on September 29th and now I have the prices. These prices were sent to me by Gait and are the official Apple prices, so all authorized Apple resellers will have to follow them. Here they are:

iPhone 15
iPhone 15 128GB KWD 294.9
iPhone 15 256GB KWD 329.9
iPhone 15 512GB KWD 399.9

iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 15 Plus 128GB KWD 329.9
iPhone 15 Plus 256GB KWD 362.9
iPhone 15 Plus 128GB KWD 329.9
iPhone 15 Plus 512GB KWD 436.9

iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro 128GB KWD 372.9
iPhone 15 Pro 256GB KWD 406.9
iPhone 15 Pro 512GB KWD 480.9
iPhone 15 Pro 1TB KWD 552.9

iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB KWD 442.9
iPhone 15 Pro Max 512GB KWD 514.9
iPhone 15 Pro Max 1TB KWD 587.9

If you’re wondering if the price is cheaper if you order it from the US Apple store, it is. I’m interested in the 15 Pro 256GB version and I just did a quick rough calculation and if I order it online it would cost me around 377KD after taxes and shipping versus 407KD here in Kuwait. The more expensive the phone, the bigger the difference will be.

If you’re interested in getting it locally, Gait will start taking preorders next Friday, September 22nd.

Categories
Apple

New iPhones Launch in Kuwait on September 29th

Last night Apple announced the new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro and I just got word from Gait that all the new phones along with the new Apple Watches will be launched in Kuwait on September 29th.

The prices haven’t been announced yet but they should be available before they open pre-orders on September 22nd.

I’m currently using an iPhone 13 Pro so I’m planning to upgrade to the 15 Pro. I’m not sure its worth the upgrade if you have a 14 Pro, I tend to upgrade every other year but since the phone is something you use all the time, it could be worth the upgrade I guess.

Categories
Apple

Apple Maps Finally Works in Kuwait

Although Apple Maps originally launched back in 2012, it only started working in Kuwait last week. I don’t know what took Apple so long but I’m glad its now finally working here. While I’m a fan of Google Maps, I find the interface of Apple Maps not only easier to read and follow, but also significantly faster to use.

If you’ve never used Apple Maps before you can now try it out.

Categories
Apple

The Worst Thing About the Apple Watch Ultra

Back in October Xcite gave me an Apple Watch Ultra to review which I did, and it was a positive review. But, since I got the watch, I haven’t removed it and as someone who loves mechanical watches and vintage Casios, that’s a problem.

The fact I’m now wearing an Apple Watch full-time and no longer putting on different watches depending on my mood or outfit is frustrating. I had the fancy SVN event a couple of weeks ago which I’d usually put on one of my nice watches, but I ended up keeping the Ultra on. When I travel, I usually like wearing my vintage 1978 Casio World Time but instead I wore my Apple Watch to Istanbul last week. It’s not just me, I have friends who are way more into watches than I am who also haven’t worn any other watch since getting the Ultra.

I think the biggest feature about Apple Watches that has me hooked is the ability to change watch faces automatically depending on various variables I’ve set up. Not sure if you’re aware of this but using the Apple Shortcuts App, you can set up automated tasks that can change the watch face based on conditions. So for example, my main watch face has my next event of the day as the main complication, but if I don’t have any more reminders for the day, that prime real estate is being wasted. So I set up an automated shortcut that checks to see if I have any events and if not, it will swap my watch face to a different one. At night before I sleep I have it automatically change my watch face into one with various sleep-related shortcuts like my Pillow app, alarm, moon phases etc, and remove stressful information like the news or the performance of my stocks. Then once I do fall asleep I have my watch face automatically change again to one with just the digital clock in x-large and in red to make it super easy to read the time if I wake up in the middle of the night.

How can any of my other watches compete with that? They can’t, so that’s why my advice is, if you’re into watches, do yourself a favor and don’t get an Apple Watch.

Categories
Apple

Finally, Apple Pay Officially Launches in Kuwait

I’ve been trying all morning to add my NBK debit card to my Apple Wallet but it didn’t work until just right now (around 3:30PM). I was able to add my credit card in the morning without a hitch but the debit card just wouldn’t work, every time I added it I’d never get the OTP code. Then while watching the video below by @talalalyagout I realized there is a way to add it through the bank app.

His video talks about his experience with his bank (which is AUB), but I checked my NBK app and I also found the option to add my card to the wallet through the app and it worked. So if you’re an NBK customer and had the same issue as me when adding the card and not getting an OTP, try adding the card to your wallet through the NBK app.

From my understanding, only 6 banks initially will have Apple Pay and they are:

AUB
Boubyan
CBK
Gulf Bank
KFH
NBK

If you’re ABK or Burgan Bank you’re out of luck for now. From the banks listed, it seems AUB, Boubyan and KFH were the earliest to get Apple Pay working today while NBK seems to be the last.

Whatever the case, finally, we now have Apple Pay in Kuwait.

Categories
Apple

Apple Pay Kinda Working with NBK

I just added my NBK debit card to Apple Pay on my phone and watch, but couldn’t activate it. To activate the card it says I need to verify it by calling NBK but when I did, they told me to check the card in a few hours and then call back. I couldn’t add my NBK credit card or my American Express, only my debit card.

The NBK Apple Pay page is still down as of now. Officially, Apple Pay is meant to launch tomorrow (Dec 7) which is why everything isn’t working right yet.

Categories
Apple

Apple Pay Launching Next Month

This definitely isn’t a coincidence, after posting about the lack of news on Apple Pay this morning, it was just announced that Apple Pay will be launching in Kuwait on December 7th. Source

Categories
Apple

What happened with Apple Pay?

Last month the Ministry of Finance and the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority reached an agreement with Apple to operate Apple Pay in Kuwait after removing all the obstacles that prevented the service from operating here.

That announcement was followed by a lot of hype with banks testing Apple Pay and even launching the service on their websites. But, that was a month ago and since then the Apple Pay pages were pulled down from the bank websites and there hasn’t been any news, not even leaked videos or photos.

I wonder what happened since it looked like they were set to launch at the start of the month.

Categories
Apple Reviews

Review: Apple Watch Ultra

I’ve never been an Apple Watch fan, I didn’t like it when it came out, and I didn’t like it 5 years later. I didn’t like the way it looked or the fact I had to raise my wrist just to turn on the screen. I also hated the idea of having to remove my watch to charge or to shower, because I never remove my watches no matter if it’s a cheap Casio or an expensive AP, my watch is always on me no matter what. Then I saw the new Apple Watch Ultra being introduced during Apple’s Keynote event, it was the first time I actually saw an Apple Watch and actually cared for it. It looked great, had a large screen, and had great battery life. I wanted it.

Full disclosure, I have a long-standing relationship with Xcite who provided me with this watch to keep. They’ve been very supportive of the blog from the very early days and they’ve lent or given me a number of items over the years to review, as well as hooking me up with discounts. I’m a huge Xcite fan and they’re an Apple Authorized Reseller.

I picked up the watch a week ago from my friends at Xcite and ever since I got it, I haven’t removed the watch except occasionally to charge it. I really don’t have a lot of requirements from a watch, I need it to tell time (easily), show the date, look good on my wrist and I don’t want to have to keep removing it from my wrist. I’ve tried watches with leather straps or vintage Casios that weren’t water-resistant, I hated having to take them off before showering. Before Covid, I was mostly rotating between two of my expensive watches, one made out of titanium, and the other forged composite, both pretty large but both very light watches (same formula as the Ultra). During Covid, I got a Casio calculator watch, similar to the one Michael J. Fox wore in the movie Back to the Future. Ever since I’ve gotten it I’ve basically stopped wearing all my other watches. It’s such a simple watch that I think looks great with its 80s design, and it was very practical. I didn’t have to worry about scratching it or banging it around, and if something did happen to it I could just get another one without going broke. But, I did have two issues with it, the first being that to see the date I had to press a button, and the second was that it didn’t have a backlight. This meant I couldn’t read the time if I woke up in the middle of the night.

This is going to sound weird and obvious, but the Apple Watch Ultra is a better version of my 1980s Casio. The new Ultra although big is actually really light for its size because of the fact it has a titanium case. It has a beautiful large screen that can show me all the information I need at a glance, and at night when I fall asleep, I have it set up to change screens to a much simpler one that only shows the time in an x-large font and in red, to ease eye strain in the dark. So functionality, it does everything I need and more. But the regular Apple Watch has all this, what sets the Ultra apart is mainly that it looks way more interesting than the regular watch which to me always looked really boring. Most of my watches are either chronographs or dive watches, I’ve never been into simple clean-looking watches, even my first watch as a kid was a Snoopy watch that looked like a dive watch. If I’m going to be wearing and using something all day, I need to like the way it looks and feels, and for me, the Ultra is the first Apple Watch I want to wear.

Another big selling point for me is the battery life, even in the first few days of owning it when I was playing around with the watch non-stop, it lasted me two days on a single charge. The fact that I can use the watch all day and then go to sleep with the watch on my wrist monitoring my sleep and knowing that I’m still going to wake up and have more than 50% battery life is such a satisfying feeling. I don’t want to deal with another device in my life that I have to worry about the battery life. So now I’ve created a routine where every morning when I sit on my iMac to type out my blog posts, I put the watch on the charger. By the time I’m done with my posts, my watch is fully charged and goes back on my wrist until the next morning. I noticed it charges really really fast over USB-C.

One of the things I was worried about initially when I saw the watch was if it was going to be too big on my skinny wrists. It’s not. Even though the watch has a 49mm diameter case, it doesn’t look huge on my wrists and so most likely won’t look big on yours either. I’m wearing the watch with a medium-sized Green Alpine Loop strap which I think is the best-looking strap on the watch. I thought initially it might be a bit annoying to put on and take off, but after using it for a week now, I’ve found it not an issue. The only issue with the strap if I’m being picky is the fact that it does get wet when showering but tends to dry fairly quickly after so not too big of a deal.

I’m trying to think of a negative thing to say about the watch but I can’t seem to think of anything. Even if I’m trying to be extra picky, there doesn’t seem to be anything that I find really annoying about it. The orange action button doesn’t have a lot of customization options right now, I can just pick a handful of different things it can do and right now I have it set to turn the watch into a flashlight. Actually, since I’m being picky, the location of the action button is where I usually place my thumb when I want to click the crown with my other finger. So on more than one occasion, I’ve accidentally turned on the flashlight when I’ve just wanted to click the crown. Just a minor issue.

When I was growing up in the 80s, the Casio G-Shock was the watch I wanted because it looked rugged and had various features I would never use like a stopwatch or altimeter. To me, the Apple Watch Ultra feels like a modern-day G-Shock and I think a lot of people see it that way. It’s going to be really popular and you can already tell by how quickly they’re selling out.

If you’re looking to buy an Ultra there is only one model but comes with different strap options. My favorite strap is the alpine loop I have but I’ve tried the trail loop and found it really comfortable. The price of the watch is 290KD and here is a link to the watches on the Xcite website.

If you have any questions about the watch, let me know in the comments.

Categories
Apple News

Kuwaiti Banks Testing Apple Pay

Local banks have started testing Apple Pay after the Ministry of Finance dropped the idea of trying to levy a tax on Apple. Apple Pay allows you to pay by tapping your phone or watch to a payment terminal without needing to have your physical card on you. Apple Pay already works on our existing Knet machines but until now it hasn’t been possible to add your Kuwaiti debit or credit card to your phone.

All local banks are expected to launch Apple Pay at the same time, so no matter what bank you use, you’ll have Apple Pay.

I’m curious to see if adding a local Kuwaiti card to my US Apple account will cause some sort of conflict. I don’t think it will. Do you have a non-US card connected to your US Apple account? Does it change anything?

Categories
Apple

iPhone 14 Prices in Kuwait vs US

The official iPhone 14 prices are out in Kuwait and so I decided to do a comparison with the US prices. This year Apple increased the price of the iPhone around the world while keeping it the same in the US. This means the price difference between Kuwait and the US is even greater this year.

Below are the price comparisons. The US price is based on shipping it to a MyUS address so you don’t pay tax, and then chosing priority 1-3 day shipping which will cost 16KD. They have cheaper shipping options as well.

iPhone 14
128GB – 293KD (US Price 263KD) +30KD Difference
256GB – 327KD (US Price 294KD) +33KD Difference
512GB – 400KD (US Price 325KD) +75KD Difference

iPhone 14 Plus
128GB – 327KD (US Price 294KD) +33KD Difference
256GB – 362KD (US Price 325KD) +37KD Difference
512GB – 435KD (US Price 356KD) +79KD Difference

iPhone 14 Pro
128GB – 371KD (US Price 325KD) +46KD Difference
256GB – 405KD (US Price 356KD) +49KD Difference
512GB – 480KD (US Price 417KD) +63KD Difference
1TB – 550KD (US Price 479KD) +71KD Difference

iPhone 14 Pro Max
128GB – 405KD (US Price 356KD) +49KD Difference
256GB – 440KD (US Price 386KD) +54KD Difference
512GB – 515KD (US Price 448KD) +67KD Difference
1TB – 586KD (US Price 511KD) +75KD Difference

The US prices are taken from the US Apple Store.
The Kuwait prices are taken from Xcite.

Update: Forgot to mention the local launch date is 23 September.