Apple and Iran have a complicated relationship because of U.S. sanctions implemented on Iran. But after many rumors, it’s now confirmed that Apple won’t have any official reseller in Iran.
Apple products have a long history in Iran since Iranians love this company’s products. Maybe the first Apple product that gained so much popularity in the country was iPod, but since then other Apple products became mainstream as time passed. Like any part of the world with the introduction of the first iPhone, this smartphone became popular in Iran. Without any official distributor or reseller, shops began to import iPhone illegally. And as time passed other products of Apple such as MacBooks became a hit for high-end buyers. Even the people who didn’t have the budget to buy these products were showing interest to buy Apple products. According to unofficial sources, currently of the 40 million smartphones in the country 5 to 6 million of them are estimated to be iPhones which shows that the people are craving for these products.
In terms of rumors and news, last year The Wall Street Journal reported that senior Apple executives had met with Iranian distributors at its London headquarters but that meeting had no outcome. Recently, the news of banning Apple products in the country grabbed so much attention to the point that some shops that were selling iPhones got closed down by the police because of smuggling the phones to the country. This incident was the outcome of government’s new initiative to stop the illegal importation of smartphones to the country and since Apple doesn’t have any official reseller in Iran, it grabbed a lot of attention.
The good news is that Apple products won’t be banned in Iran. Last week , 9 official domestic importers of iPhone got introduced to the public by the Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT). The licenses for these 9 companies are being issued and 7 of these companies got their license from Telecommunication Devices Union and the other two are in the process of receiving their licenses. Since Apple has no official reseller in the country, these companies should provide after-sales services for the customers. By legalizing the importation of iPhones, the government can track each iPhone that was brought to the country by legal channels. With the help of the mobile network operators, only those iPhones that have been registered by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade can be used with Iranian SIM Cards. The companies that have been granted the golden license are the following: Media Pardazesh, Arvand Investment Group, Delta Hamrah Pardazesh Shargh, Sibe Talaei Hoshmand, Manatel Pars, Iraniane Ghaem Hamrah, Exir Tejarat Saba, Almas System and Datis Emertat.
*Image credit: courtesy of wtop.