Sci & Tech

No Response to Smuggled iPhone 7

Apple fans are going to be disappointed by the confusing new regulation on imported phones.Apple fans are going to be disappointed by the confusing new regulation on imported phones.
Smuggled iPhones are legally barred from using Iran’s telecoms networks

Smuggled iPhone 7 smartphones, which have entered Iran in the past week, will not be registered and operators will not provide services to them, according to a new diktat.

Three days after the initial sale of the new iPhone started in the US, the new model appeared in Iran's gray market at exorbitant prices.

Apple launched the sale of iPhone 7 on September 7, which has been priced between $649 and $849 in the US. This is while according to ISNA, iPhone 7 is sold in Iran at an exorbitant price of $2,200.

Head of Iran's Telecommunications Guild Gholamhossein Karimi reminded iPhone buyers that smartphones, which have illegally entered the country, will not be registered and the mobile communication operators are legally bound to not provide services to them.

"In case these phones are registered due to individual error, their access to Iran's mobile communications network will be blocked," he said.

"Even mobile phones of travelers should be registered, as they would become unusable."

The official announced that several Iranian companies have already registered for importing the phone through legal channels, which will be available in Iran in two weeks.

Referring to the staggering price of the contraband iPhone7s in the domestic market, he said the guild will regulate the sale of legally imported phones to protect consumers' rights.

Karimi encouraged mobile phone buyers to use the website and SMS service launched by Iran’s Customs Administration to help cellphone buyers identify contraband phones.

The website will provide services based on a phone’s IMEI number—the International Mobile Equipment Identity, or a number that helps identify the serial number of the mobile phones.

The code is usually printed inside the battery compartment of the phone, but can also be displayed on screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dial pad, or alongside other system information in the settings menu on the operating systems of smartphones.

The IMEI number is used by the administration to identify valid devices and, therefore, can be used for stopping a stolen or illegally imported phone from accessing Iran’s communications network. Therefore, only smartphones and gadgets, which have entered the country through the official customs channel, can be used.

In addition to the website, the agency has developed an SMS system wherein customers can text the serial number to 30008887 and instantly receive a confirmation about whether the phone is contraband or not.

According to a mandate issued recently, all commercial importers of mobile phones are obliged to register the IMEI of their imported goods.

Apple has no official representative in Iran and since the Iranian administration introduced a new scheme to stop the contraband phones from entering the country, the price for iPhones have soared.

Iran's Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade recently issued licenses for five domestic companies to import iPhones and other Apple electronic products.

An official with the ministry announced at a press conference that there is no ban on importing smartphones from the US, ICTNA reported on September 6.

During a press conference held at the ministry, Yadollah Sadeqi also said 14 licenses have been issued to import smartphones made by Apple Inc. without naming the domestic companies.

US sanctions bar American corporate entities from entering the Iranian economy or partnering with local businesses, unless they get a waiver from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Therefore, Apple Inc. cannot establish an official representative in Iran. But there is no ban on the legal import of the company’s products to Iran [from Iran’s side],” he said.