Apple in early talks to sell iPhone in Iran, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
Almost one year after the U.S. began to loosen sanctions on exports to Iran, Apple is reportedly in early stage talks with distributors to start official sales of its products in the country.


Apple iPhone 6 advertised on unauthorized Iranian reseller Hesam. | Source: Hesam.ir


According to people familiar with the matter, senior Apple executives are courting prospective Iranian distributors at the company's headquarters in London, paving the way for an official reseller network in the Middle East country, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple's entry into Iran is contingent on future diplomatic relations, but the company is making preparations in case sanctions lift, sources said. The report notes other Western businesses are doing the same, but many of those interested in getting in early are based out of Europe, not America.

As for Apple, sources expected the company to rely on so-called "premium resellers" in its Iranian operations, not flagship Apple Stores. The business model would take after franchise-style outlets that deal only in Apple products, a strategy used in certain areas of Europe and Asia.

A move into Iran would not be unprecedented, at least in the smartphone sector, as a number of big-name Asian corporations are already selling their wares and have become well entrenched in the region.

In August of 2013, Apple announced it would begin selling products to customers who planned to take the devices into Iran. At the time, the U.S. government had just lifted an export ban imposed as a result of economic sanctions targeting Iran's nuclear program. The Obama administration reportedly eased restrictions of high-tech electronics as they could help citizen protestors disrupt the Iranian regime.

Like many countries, Iran has an appetite for Apple devices. A report in 2013 noted business was booming for banned Apple products, with devices being funneled in through underground trade routes for massive profits.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    An important step in restoring bonds between Iranians and Americans. We got a lot of work to do to straighten out this mess.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    flaneur wrote: »
    An important step in restoring bonds between Iranians and Americans. We got a lot of work to do to straighten out this mess.

    Yeah. But it isn't Apples problem. It would actually be a shame if Apple fixed the problem and not the government.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,106member

    Good. These sactions are horse-shit. Iranians should be able to easily buy an enjoy Apple products also at retail cost. 

  • Reply 4 of 22
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    cali wrote: »
    Yeah. But it isn't Apples problem. It would actually be a shame if Apple fixed the problem and not the government.

    I didn't mean to suggest it was Apple's business at all. My point would be more along the lines of:

    New communications media by themselves can form bonds, as can the media's packages, for example books in the 17th century.

    The "work" consists in what we say in or on the new media. And i'm only talking about what happens between ordinary people. Recent history shows that the cell phone is the most powerful instrument of change yet to be invented, maybe moreso than TV or the printing press.

    Governments are a problem, I agree.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,996member
    flaneur wrote: »
    An important step in restoring bonds between Iranians and Americans. We got a lot of work to do to straighten out this mess.

    I've often thought Cuba would have come around a lot sooner with more contact not less.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post



    Recent history shows that the cell phone is the most powerful instrument of change yet to be invented, maybe moreso than TV or the printing press.

     

     

    They already have Android, and Nokias in Iran. Google Play worked in Iran for free apps, which is more than Google in China. They have the Internet and cell phones too. In fact, they're one of the countries that have more cell phones than people.

     

    At the same time, their cell and Internet service is heavily censored, monitored, and has shut down in periods of unrest. It's not like books where you have to burn them. Communication infrastructure is all centralized, you can pull the plug instantly.

     

    Cell phones aren't the major pain point of the sanctions. It's money, oil, and airplane parts, far more critical infrastructure items than an iPhone.

  • Reply 7 of 22
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Good. These sactions are horse-shit. Iranians should be able to easily buy an enjoy Apple products also at retail cost. 

    And Iranian college students should be free to post whatever they want on the Internet without being harassed, arrested, or black bagged.

    Oh, wait....
  • Reply 8 of 22
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,106member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post





    And Iranian college students should be free to post whatever they want on the Internet without being harassed, arrested, or black bagged.



    Oh, wait....

     

    Uh, no disagreement there. But this thread was about specific topic, which I commented on. 

  • Reply 9 of 22
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    konqerror wrote: »
    They already have Android, and Nokias in Iran. Google Play worked in Iran for free apps, which is more than Google in China. They have the Internet and cell phones too. In fact, they're one of the countries that have more cell phones than people.

    At the same time, their cell and Internet service is heavily censored, monitored, and has shut down in periods of unrest. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">It's not like books where you have to burn them. Communication infrastructure is all centralized, you can pull the plug instantly.</span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Cell phones aren't the major pain point of the sanctions. It's money, oil, and airplane parts, far more critical infrastructure items than an iPhone.</span>

    I can see this is going to be a bit difficult. I always assume people have read their Marshall McLuhan, and I always get in trouble for it.

    No bond will be formed between Americans and Iranians over Nokias, Android, or Google. But a bond will be formed between them if there's an iPhone in between them. From the point of view of the media ecologist, the psychology of the masses is the most important piece of infrastructure there is, and that derives from the media mix at any given time. The iPhone is a statement, an advertisement, of American technical humanism. Finally, after all the crap cars and military hardware that the US has foisted upon the world, finally here is something every aspiring human on earth can relate to, even the perfectionist Japanese. Thus, bond formed. It helps that it's your pocket broadcasting station and main means of self-expression.

    A related example. Fiat and GM can flood your country with their inferior cars, and you'll use them like utilities and throw them away. Then Mercedes-Benz can come in with their amazing four-cylinder diesels that run for 400,000 miles, and you begin to see that there's a very right way to make automobiles, and you keep one, change the oil yourself, and tell your son to go to school and learn auto engineering the right way. You bond with Germans through their work, their products.

    The message of the pocket communicator is that governments are becoming marginal, just as the printed book taught that the Church hierarchy was marginal. It's taken 500 years to prove that, though.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,996member
    flaneur wrote: »
    I can see this is going to be a bit difficult. I always assume people have read their Marshall McLuhan, and I always get in trouble for it.

    No bond will be formed between Americans and Iranians over Nokias, Android, or Google. But a bond will be formed between them if there's an iPhone in between them. From the point of view of the media ecologist, the psychology of the masses is the most important piece of infrastructure there is, and that derives from the media mix at any given time. The iPhone is a statement, an advertisement, of American technical humanism. Finally, after all the crap cars and military hardware that the US has foisted upon the world, finally here is something every aspiring human on earth can relate to, even the perfectionist Japanese. Thus, bond formed. It helps that it's your pocket broadcasting station and main means of self-expression.

    A related example. Fiat and GM can flood your country with their inferior cars, and you'll use them like utilities and throw them away. Then Mercedes-Benz can come in with their amazing four-cylinder diesels that run for 400,000 miles, and you begin to see that there's a very right way to make automobiles, and you keep one, change the oil yourself, and tell your son to go to school and learn auto engineering the right way. You bond with Germans through their work, their products.

    The message of the pocket communicator is that governments are becoming marginal, just as the printed book taught that the Church hierarchy was marginal. It's taken 500 years to prove that, though.

    Wow that's deep ...
  • Reply 11 of 22
    sensisensi Posts: 346member
    cash907 wrote: »
    And Iranian college students should be free to post whatever they want on the Internet without being harassed, arrested, or black bagged.

    Oh, wait....
    The Western sanctions have nothing to do with that, they are about the imaginary nuclear military program that 16 US intelligence agencies have assessed as discontinued since 2003, our Western "free press" and politicians without any agenda have yet to notice that little fact. Meanwhile some of the most nauseous dictatorships worldwide -Saudi Arabia, etc- are US and Western allies, proving the mostly complete duplicity and hypocrisy of a large part of their foreign policy. Just saying.

    "U.S. intelligence agency officials interviewed by The New York Times in March 2012 said they continued to assess that Iran had not restarted its weaponization program, which the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate said Iran had discontinued in 2003" (wikipedia, NYT "U.S. Faces a Tricky Task in Assessment of Data on Iran", March 17, 2012)
  • Reply 12 of 22
    thedbathedba Posts: 472member

    While many of you see politics, I like to see the brighter side of things.

    One more market in which Samsung will be marginalized. :D

  • Reply 13 of 22
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    I've often thought Cuba would have come around a lot sooner with more contact not less.

    I can see the headline now "Cubans line up for iPhone just like they do for everything else" :lol:
  • Reply 14 of 22
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    flaneur wrote: »
    ........finally here is something every aspiring human on earth can relate to, even the perfectionist Japanese.

    I thought that was Coca-Cola. ;)
  • Reply 15 of 22
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 754member
    this is good news. it is time to move past our countries past & turn over a new leaf. I guarantee you that Samsung has overrun their country & they need to be liberated.
  • Reply 16 of 22

    "I can see this is going to be a bit difficult. I always assume people have read their Marshall McLuhan, and I always get in trouble for it."

     

    Great opening, Flaneur.  Start out with a heavy dollop of condescension to your intended readers, then pontificate over the merits of expensive German luxury cars relative to middle-class vehicles made elsewhere.  Most Iranian citizens have already "bonded" with western-made products; the problem there is with the maniacal, sub-human religious establishment.  No one takes McLuhan seriously these days.

  • Reply 17 of 22
    I hope this is some kind of hoax. I can't believe Tim Cook would sanction trading with Iran, a country run by religious fanatics that executes people for being gay.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    Good; expanding markets and communicating with everyone is totally in the United States (and Iranian) interests.

  • Reply 19 of 22
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post



    I hope this is some kind of hoax. I can't believe Tim Cook would sanction trading with Iran, a country run by religious fanatics that executes people for being gay.



    Best way to erode a country like that is to expose them to the rest of the world. Keep building and supporting the rest of the Iranian people beyond their government. We were far more than Bush/Cheney during Bush/Cheney right?

     

    iPhones available in Saudi Arabia. At least Iran has co-ed snow ski resorts.... 

  • Reply 20 of 22
    Does this mean a new backdoor, or all cooperating governments have access to the same WiretAPI?
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