Microsoft Unblocks Iran
Economy, Business And Markets

Microsoft Unblocks Iran

Following the Financial Tribune’s report last week on the low-profile entry of Microsoft in Iran, another development has occurred to back up the claim that Microsoft is now beginning to support Iranian customers.
Microsoft’s mobile software support site has now begun to list Iran among other MENA countries receiving the latest so-called “Denim Update” for the Microsoft Lumia 535. This is the latest iteration of Microsoft Mobile Oy’s mobile operating system fixing system bugs.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 is a mid-range priced phone aimed at emerging market countries. As this is the only phone listed for Iran it would be safe to assume that so far Microsoft has given the all-clear for this phone to be sold in Iran. Other phones are available, though these are imported through black market channels from Persian Gulf countries, in the main.
The Lumia 535 is reportedly on sale in the country, and the only online store selling the phone is onedigital.ir, which is currently retailing the unit for 6,250,000 rials for the single SIM version. The phone is also available in mobile phone centers around Tehran with its price differing between each private phone dealer.
This latest move by the Redmond giant is another indicator that Iranian users are no longer being ignored by the American software and electronics maker. It also suggests that Microsoft has begun listening to Iranian fans requests for support for their phones.
Back in October Motherboard news – a tech news website said a Microsoft feedback questionnaire showed there’s huge demand for the company’s services in Iran. Users voted over 30,000 times for the suggestion, “Please give the people of Iran to access the Microsoft Store. Thank you.”
Meanwhile, Tom Warren at The Verge pointed out that a plea to include the Persian calendar was among the most-requested features in a Microsoft poll asking for feedback on the Windows 10 operating system.
However, in May 2013, the US relaxed some of the sanctions allowing US companies to sell mobile phones, software, and other communication technology to Iranians. The exemptions only affected individuals, not the government, and Iranian customers couldn’t really buy the products themselves owing to other financial sanctions. However since the talks between Iran the world powers, US based companies are beginning to test the waters of the Iranian market.
In its earlier story the Tribune reported that Microsoft has entered the Iranian market; However, at that point it only was honoring previous Nokia repair contracts officially. In a telephone conversation with the Microsoft Lumia care line on January second, when questioned whether they have a flagship store to buy phones, an official representative quoted as saying; “Soon we will open both our store and official (Lumia) repair center,” when asked when, the representative responded with, soon God willing.


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