Every week we’ll be bringing you the highlights of Iran’s tech scene in the past week. This week, we covered gambling websites getting shut down, hardships ahead of software developers in Iran, and the recession in the country’s mobile market.
Gambling Websites Get Shut Down in Iran
With the FIFA World Cup happening in Russia, thousands of illegal sports betting websites have emerged in Iran. According to ITmen, some of these websites have grown big enough to have a turnover of several billion Tomans every week, while being connected to the country’s official payment gateways.
According to Iran’s Cyber Police, 5 thousand gambling websites have been shut down and a total of 37 billion Tomans in the accounts of these websites were blocked and suspended. Gambling is forbidden by law and Sharia in Iran.
Greater Hardships Ahead of Iranian Software Developers
According to the Head of the Union of Software Manufacturers and Exporters in Iran, many of the software companies in the country are facing restrictions due to the imposed sanctions by the US. He mentioned that many of the services by Google are blocked in Iran and Iranian companies have to find a way to bypass the sanctions. He added that with the current situation, not a good future awaits the country’s software production and exports.
Currently, many Iranian software companies are targeting the international market, while doing their operations inside Iran. These companies usually have a branch in a European or neighboring country in order to be able to have international transactions and partnerships with foreign entities and companies.
Recession and Increase of Prices in Iran’s Mobile Market
In April, the Iranian Rial hit an all-time low against the US dollar which has greatly affected the market, especially for the imported products.
To overcome the currency crisis, the government imposed a unified rate of 42,000 Rials for a Dollar (compared to the 70,000 in the free-market). But now, according to ITmen, since last week, Iranian mobile importers have been unable to get access to the government-supplied foreign currency for trade, as these products are listed in the “luxury products” and are not a needed necessary for the country. This has resulted in a new crisis for the country’s mobile market, and the prices have increased tremendously.
Many importers have announced that they have stopped supplying mobile phones since last week, and many devices have become scarce in the market. It’s been said that a new foreign currency, especially for mobile phone trade will soon be announced, but experts believe that this decision could result in more chaos in the market. Currently, the price range for the iPhone X in the Iranian market is somewhere between 80 to 110 million Rials.