Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran Eases Rules for iPhone Import

Iran Eases Rules for iPhone ImportIran Eases Rules for iPhone Import

To broaden access to legally-imported smartphones in the domestic market, the Consumers and Producers Protection Organization has issued 23 new import licenses.

The organization, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade, authorized the firms to import products from companies that do not have official representation in Iran, CITNA reported.

Permits include those for Apple, Motorola, BLU, HTC and BlackBerry phones which still do not have official representation in the country.

At least 22 of the companies are due to import the gadgets according to the new rules.

In August 2016, the ministry, under pressure from business groups, issued licenses for nine local companies to import iPhones to discourage smuggling.  That move did not stop the import of contraband iPhones and Iran's Telecoms Equipment Union earlier this month said almost 90% of iPhones sold in the market were contraband.

According to the head of that union, Gholam Hussein Karimi, the main reason behind the almost total dominance of smuggled iPhones is that their prices are 12% lower than those imported through legal channels.

According to the official list, one company, Info Gostar has been granted a permit to import BLU. The brand is currently unknown in the market.

The government’s war on contraband phones started in July with the introduction of a new measure to ban contraband smartphones and gadgets. The plan requires all mobile phones to be registered with the country's telecommunications user database.

According to the government measure, when the plan comes into effect smuggled phones lacking proper ID and registration will become unusable.


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