Economy, Sci & Tech

9 Iranian Firms Authorized to Sell Apple Products

9 Iranian Firms Authorized to Sell Apple Products9 Iranian Firms Authorized to Sell Apple Products

Iran’s Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has issued licenses for nine local companies to import iPhones.

A copy of the official document that has allowed the companies to sell iPhones in Iran has been signed by Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mojtaba Khosrotaj and was published by Eghtesad Online on Thursday.

The companies' names are Datis Emertat, Media Pardazesh, Arvand, Delta Commerce Company, Smart Golden Apple, Pars Manatel, Iranian Qaem, Elixir Saba (Mahtel) Commerce Company and Almas System.

Media Pardazesh is also the official representative of Korea's LG mobile phones in Iran.

These firms are said to have arrived at an agreement with an unnamed UK-based firm and the phones are expected to be imported from the UK.

In July, the Iranian government introduced a new project to ban contraband smartphones and gadgets from entering the market.

The scheme requires all mobile phones to be registered with the country's telecommunications user database. Smuggled phones that are not registered become unusable, such as Apple, that did not have official representatives and failed to offer after-sales services.

The nine companies authorized to sell iPhones in Iran by the government will have to offer official after-sales services to their customers.

Although Apple has not yet released an official announcement in this regard, it is highly likely that these firms have not been authorized to sell in Iran by Apple Inc., California, and they will act as third-party firms channeling their imports from the British company.

If the case was otherwise, this type of news would have received widespread global coverage.

When the scheme was first introduced in July, a market expert told Financial Tribune that "this is an old trick borrowed from the customs playbook".

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the expert said, "In cases like these, the only expected outcome is that the market will be monopolized by well-connected local companies."

There have been cases of crackdowns on Apple products in the past. In 2014, a series of Apple products were seized from stores and it was announced that Vaghaye Gostar Fars is the legal and exclusive representative of Apple in Iran.

However, it soon became clear that the company's documents were not genuine and its permits were revoked.