Tehran – Last day a historic deal was reached between Iran and the world powers after 12 years of negotiations. The talks were focused to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of the economic sanctions, that have isolated the country especially in the past couple of years.
“If the deal is implemented properly and precisely, each step of this deal can slowly remove the bricks off the wall of distrust,” said Iran’s president, Mr. Rouhani, during a speech on the national tv.
Last year The Wall Street Journal reported that senior Apple executives had met with Iranian distributors at its London headquarters. Today they reported that Apple and General Electronics have got in touch with potential Iranian distributers.
Iran has one of the biggest smartphone markets in the region, reportedly more than 6 million iPhones and 17 million android phones have been activated in the country.
Though there are no official Apple stores in Iran, many have mimicked the apple retailers.
Apple products like MacBooks and iPhones are in high demand in Iran, even though many Apple products are sold triple the amount of the official price on the global market. Products like the iPhone reach Tehran’s market illegally after 48 hours of the release. Some companies have claimed that they are the official distributers of Apple products, though the seniors of Apple have never confirmed such claims.
Apple products are not the only American merchandise that are popular here. Laptops and computer accessories from Microsoft, Dell, HP and also network hardware from Cisco are available for purchase.
App store is not blocked in the country. But since Iran is not listed as one of the countries during the signup process for Apple ID, users have to choose one of the other listed countries, and have to use VPN connections to fake their identities. International payment system is also not available in Iran, so users have to buy gift cards from third party retailers in order to buy items from iTunes and App store.
The Iranian officials have stated that the number of smartphones is expected to reach 40 million devices by 2016. With a market this big, and the high demand of Apple products, hopefully we can expect an official distributor and maybe the opening of the Apple stores in Iran’s major cities after the lifting of the sanctions.