Egypt calls for more direct presence from Apple amid pressure on iPhone prices

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 23
The Egyptian government has been talking with Apple about the prospect of implementing a more direct corporate presence, according to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.


"I think Egypt is a big market and attractive for Apple to exist in directly," Madbouli said in a CNBC interview. "Apple has been in Egypt but through indirect agents, suppliers... But really, we discussed yesterday [with Apple], the idea really [is] to have Apple be in Egypt to be one of its industrial hubs and a destination to serve the whole [Middle East] region."

The talks could be connected to a row with the country's Competition Authority, which on Dec. 11 issued a 60-day deadline to fix "unfair restrictions" affecting iPhone sales. Apple currently blocks its Middle Eastern distributor from selling to local Egyptian distributors, something the government says can make iPhones as much as 50 percent more expensive in Egypt than elsewhere in the Middle East.

The soaring cost of iPhones is believed to be having ramifications for Apple across the globe, but especially in China, where poor iPhone sales were cited as the main cause of a $5 billion revenue shortfall in the December quarter. Local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi offer competitive phones selling for hundreds of dollars less.

Madbouli added that while speaking with Apple representatives at the World Economic Forum in Davos -- which CEO Tim Cook is visiting as well -- he raised the idea of collaborating on education reforms in his country, particularly introducing more technology.

Cook is known to have met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at Davos, and had dinner with the leaders of Brazil, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Microsoft.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Perhaps Apple needs to create a new third world brand with a different name. An “affordable” high quality phone to compete with others but without sullying the Apple iPhone brand. Owned by Apple but perhaps even HQ’d in India. A semi-autonomous company that is informed by Apple’s ethic but not saddled by it. Everyone would “know” it’s an Apple phone; the halo effect, but it’s not an iPhone. 
  • Reply 2 of 11
    “Apple currently blocks its Middle Eastern distributor from selling to local Egyptian distributors, something the government says can make iPhones as much as 50 percent more expensive in Egypt than elsewhere in the Middle East.”

    Where are iPhones sold in the Middle East 50% cheaper than Egypt?  Are they talking about Israel? And, Saudi Arabia?

    I can’t imagine iPhones are sold in enough quantity to establish direct relationships elsewhere...

    Also, I vaguely remember countries governments requiring access to iPhone communications, which obviously Apple wasn’t willing to do, so they took a hands off approach.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    This guy sounds like he's in a bubble, where he loves Apple and think it'd be cool for them to come do business in Egypt. I haven't heard Egypt is big in tech nor manufacturing, but I heard about their horrible track record on human rights violations.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Perhaps Apple needs to create a new third world brand with a different name. An “affordable” high quality phone to compete with others but without sullying the Apple iPhone brand. Owned by Apple but perhaps even HQ’d in India. A semi-autonomous company that is informed by Apple’s ethic but not saddled by it. Everyone would “know” it’s an Apple phone; the halo effect, but it’s not an iPhone. 
    Not a bad idea. Like Rolex and Tudor.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,138member
    It's pretty strange that it took Target this long to finally support Apple Pay in their Stores!!!! Target has Supported Apple Pay since day 1 for Online Shopping. So it's good see see them finally cave. Same goes for Taco Bell and Jack on the box. The more places the better. Wal-Mart is going to be the last holdout. They are going to stick with their QR codes for as long as they can.
    hentaiboy said:
    Perhaps Apple needs to create a new third world brand with a different name. An “affordable” high quality phone to compete with others but without sullying the Apple iPhone brand. Owned by Apple but perhaps even HQ’d in India. A semi-autonomous company that is informed by Apple’s ethic but not saddled by it. Everyone would “know” it’s an Apple phone; the halo effect, but it’s not an iPhone. 
    Not a bad idea. Like Rolex and Tudor.
    It's a dumb idea! What's Apple going to run on that Android? it can't be iOS. A watch is one thing. you're not normally running a OS on it. If you were, and running Android, running under some other name and still using Android, no big deal, you can hide that.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    gutengel said:
    This guy sounds like he's in a bubble, where he loves Apple and think it'd be cool for them to come do business in Egypt. I haven't heard Egypt is big in tech nor manufacturing, but I heard about their horrible track record on human rights violations.
    Give me a break. I guess you’d rather Egypt were ruled by Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Right? Another bleeding heart liberal. 
  • Reply 7 of 11
    sirozha said:
    gutengel said:
    This guy sounds like he's in a bubble, where he loves Apple and think it'd be cool for them to come do business in Egypt. I haven't heard Egypt is big in tech nor manufacturing, but I heard about their horrible track record on human rights violations.
    Give me a break. I guess you’d rather Egypt were ruled by Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Right? Another bleeding heart liberal. 
    You sound like a typical Right wing conservative, you believe in NO freedom or rights other than your own.

    Mohammed Morsi was elected in the only free, fair and open elections in Egypt's 5100 year recorded history. The Egyptian military, specifically its officer class, has dominated Egypt since 1952. To the extent that they now control towards 60% of the economy, everything from cosmetics to hotels to TV assembly plants. And because they do it incompetently or inefficiently, the country is severely held back. I know this since I'm of Egyptian descent and maintain contact with that place.

    And the corruption is off the charts, absolutely wall to wall. Anyone who dissents is simply 'disappeared'. In the coup that overthrew Morsi, over 2500 were killed in the streets and over 40,000 more rounded up and languishing in prison. The judiciary is not independent, merely under the authority of the executive. And you don't even have to be a Muslim to get yourself thrown in prison for dissenting, its absolutely anything that may be construed by the regime as threatening to it that can get you in prison and relentlessly tortured until you recant.

    The reason this illegitimate regime wants Apple to setup shop locally is so it can try to compel Apple to break the security of communications and encryption on its devices at the whims of the regime. Encrypted messaging is one of the last avenues of free expression in the country (and indeed in the rest of the Middle East) and the regimes hate it. They lack anything like the skills or competence of the NSA (and even the NSA is struggling against things like TOR and Signal) to even remotely think of breaking them so they want some way to compel device manufacturers do it for them.

    I strongly doubt Apple will heed his advice and thank God for that!
  • Reply 8 of 11
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 561member
    macmojo said:
    sirozha said:
    gutengel said:
    This guy sounds like he's in a bubble, where he loves Apple and think it'd be cool for them to come do business in Egypt. I haven't heard Egypt is big in tech nor manufacturing, but I heard about their horrible track record on human rights violations.
    Give me a break. I guess you’d rather Egypt were ruled by Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Right? Another bleeding heart liberal. 
    You sound like a typical Right wing conservative, you believe in NO freedom or rights other than your own.

    Mohammed Morsi was elected in the only free, fair and open elections in Egypt's 5100 year recorded history. The Egyptian military, specifically its officer class, has dominated Egypt since 1952. To the extent that they now control towards 60% of the economy, everything from cosmetics to hotels to TV assembly plants. And because they do it incompetently or inefficiently, the country is severely held back. I know this since I'm of Egyptian descent and maintain contact with that place.

    And the corruption is off the charts, absolutely wall to wall. Anyone who dissents is simply 'disappeared'. In the coup that overthrew Morsi, over 2500 were killed in the streets and over 40,000 more rounded up and languishing in prison. The judiciary is not independent, merely under the authority of the executive. And you don't even have to be a Muslim to get yourself thrown in prison for dissenting, its absolutely anything that may be construed by the regime as threatening to it that can get you in prison and relentlessly tortured until you recant.

    The reason this illegitimate regime wants Apple to setup shop locally is so it can try to compel Apple to break the security of communications and encryption on its devices at the whims of the regime. Encrypted messaging is one of the last avenues of free expression in the country (and indeed in the rest of the Middle East) and the regimes hate it. They lack anything like the skills or competence of the NSA (and even the NSA is struggling against things like TOR and Signal) to even remotely think of breaking them so they want some way to compel device manufacturers do it for them.

    I strongly doubt Apple will heed his advice and thank God for that!
    Exactly what I thought about you. Adolf Hitler was also elected in a free and democratic election.

    I would go with Sisi any time over Morsi. Neither Egyptians nor Syrians (not to mention Libyans) are ready for democracy. When Palestinians get free elections, they elect Hamas. When Egyptians get free elections, they elect Muslim Brotherhood (the mother of Hamas and Al Qaida). These countries need to be ruled by people like Sisi, Mubarak, al-Assad, and Gaddafi. Obama turned US Air Force into the Al Qaida's Air Force and killed Gaddafi because Gaddafi was not democratically elected. Libya, which was the crown jewel of North Africa and an economic miracle under Gaddafi, became a killing field and a waste land because of Obama and Hillary's policies, and it will remain such for generations to come just because the bleeding-heart liberals like you decided that they knew better. Hillary thought al-Assad was not a reformer enough, so she and Obama armed and trained Libyan Al Qaida in Syria (which became ISIS) to depose al-Assad. Syria has now become a wasteland and a killing field with millions of displaced Syrians scattered all over Europe and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed.

    People like you, Obama, and Hillary have set the entire Middle East on fire. If it weren't for Sisi, Egypt would have been another killing field and waste land by now. Thank god Sisi had the courage to depose Morsi and arrest all Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi saved Egypt, while Obama embargoed Egypt for overturning a democratically elected Muslim extremist Morsi. I'm sure glad Obama and Hilary are in retirement, but the Middle East has been burning, lives of millions of people have been destroyed, and two previously prosperous countries now lie in ruins because the bleeding-heart liberal ideology that can't live a day without imposing its radical views on the rest of the world. 

    I'm happy that Tim Cook is not as crazy a liberal as you are. 
    edited January 23
  • Reply 9 of 11
    sirozha said:
    macmojo said:
    sirozha said:
    gutengel said:
    This guy sounds like he's in a bubble, where he loves Apple and think it'd be cool for them to come do business in Egypt. I haven't heard Egypt is big in tech nor manufacturing, but I heard about their horrible track record on human rights violations.
    Give me a break. I guess you’d rather Egypt were ruled by Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Right? Another bleeding heart liberal. 
    You sound like a typical Right wing conservative, you believe in NO freedom or rights other than your own.

    Mohammed Morsi was elected in the only free, fair and open elections in Egypt's 5100 year recorded history. The Egyptian military, specifically its officer class, has dominated Egypt since 1952. To the extent that they now control towards 60% of the economy, everything from cosmetics to hotels to TV assembly plants. And because they do it incompetently or inefficiently, the country is severely held back. I know this since I'm of Egyptian descent and maintain contact with that place.

    And the corruption is off the charts, absolutely wall to wall. Anyone who dissents is simply 'disappeared'. In the coup that overthrew Morsi, over 2500 were killed in the streets and over 40,000 more rounded up and languishing in prison. The judiciary is not independent, merely under the authority of the executive. And you don't even have to be a Muslim to get yourself thrown in prison for dissenting, its absolutely anything that may be construed by the regime as threatening to it that can get you in prison and relentlessly tortured until you recant.

    The reason this illegitimate regime wants Apple to setup shop locally is so it can try to compel Apple to break the security of communications and encryption on its devices at the whims of the regime. Encrypted messaging is one of the last avenues of free expression in the country (and indeed in the rest of the Middle East) and the regimes hate it. They lack anything like the skills or competence of the NSA (and even the NSA is struggling against things like TOR and Signal) to even remotely think of breaking them so they want some way to compel device manufacturers do it for them.

    I strongly doubt Apple will heed his advice and thank God for that!
    Exactly what I thought about you. Adolf Hitler was also elected in a free and democratic election.

    I would go with Sisi any time over Morsi. Neither Egyptians nor Syrians (not to mention Libyans) are ready for democracy. When Palestinians get free elections, they elect Hamas. When Egyptians get free elections, they elect Muslim Brotherhood (the mother of Hamas and Al Qaida). These countries need to be ruled by people like Sisi, al-Assad, and Gaddafi. Obama made US Air Force into the Al Qaida's Air Force and killed Gaddafi because Gaddafi was not democratically elected. Libya, which was the crown jewel of North Africa and an economic miracle under Gaddafi, became a killing field and a waste land because of Obama and Hillary's policies, and it will remain such for generations to come just because the bleeding-heart liberals like you decided that they knew better. Hillary thought al-Assad was not a reformer enough, so she and Obama armed and trained Libyan Al Qaida in Syria (which became ISIS) to depose al-Assad. Syria has now become a wasteland and a killing field with millions of displaced Syrians scattered all over Europe and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed.

    People like you, Obama, and Hillary have set the entire Middle East on fire. If it weren't for Sisi, Egypt would have been another killing field and waste land by now. Thank god Sisi had the courage to depose Morsi and arrest all Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi saved Egypt, while Obama and Hillary embargoed Egypt for overturning a democratically elected Muslim extremist Morsi. I'm sure glad Obama and Hilary are in retirement, but the Middle East has been burning and lives of millions of people have been destroyed because the bleeding-heart liberal ideology that can't live a day without imposing its radical views on the rest of the world. 
    Dude, you come across as a serious right-wing extremist. As I said, you believe in no freedom or rights other than your own!

    What do you think people in the Middle East think when they hear comments like "Neither Egyptians nor Syrians (not to mention Libyans) are ready for democracy."? Without doubt this is racist. Its actually one of the reasons various groups in the ME give for attacking Western targets, that Westerners (such as yourself), do all they can to deny them freedom and rights and then turn around and say "Muslims hate us because of our freedom and democracy". Riiiiiiight....

    Your claims are almost all false as well. Ghaddafi did not make Libya a "jewel" of North Africa, it was an economic backwater relying on foreigners to keep it running (he didn't trust Libyans outside his tribal base) and oil money to pay them.

    Egypt is an impoverished hell for the majority. 90% rely on food subsidies. And the corruption is so overwhelming, free enterprise is stifled. Not to mention the military giving itself monopolies over vast sections of the economy to both control the populace and enrich themselves. Syria is the same, with the 11% Alawite minority controlling the military and economy. Virtually every other ME country is similar, a grotesquely corrupt, incompetent and repressive foreign-backed regime ruling over a deeply angry population.

    I understand mentalities like yours, at your core, you're fundamentally racist and bigoted and you believe Middle Easterners to be lesser, inferior people with lesser rights. What stuns me though isn't that people like you exist, but that you expect those Middle Easterners to just meekly acquiesce. People like you cheered on Operation Ajax in Iran in 1953 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat ) and look at the end result there.

    Let me guess, when refugees from the hell that is the ME turn up in the West, you call them "queue jumping terrorists" or something similar?

    Fortunately, Apple doesn't share your "values" and isn't likely to help these regimes out. 

    No dictatorship ever lasts, they're brought down by their own incompetence, intolerance of alternate views to correct policy mistakes and their all-encompassing corruption bankrupting them. So at some point in the future, you're going to be deeply disappointed.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    I think that millions of displaced Syrians would've preferred to live in al-Assad's Syria with a prosperous economy and no political rights rather than having had their relatives butchered in a civil war and themselves living in tents in refugee camps in Turkey. Millions of Libyans wish Gaddafi were still in power so that they can have their safe and relatively prosperous lives. It was certainly better for the Libyans to live in the Gaddafi's Libya than living in the Obama's Libya with dozens of terrorist warlords raping (literally) and ravaging their country and their lives. I believe most Egyptians are happy that Sisi overthrew the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood, arrested Morsi along with his radical Muslim Brotherhood thugs, and gradually restored the stability that the Egyptians lost after the Arab Spring had swept away the Mubarak regime.  

    Your belief that democracy is somehow more important than safety and security is infantile lunacy. People in these countries have never lived in democracy and don't want to live in democracy. What they want is security and prosperity. Any person with a modicum of life experience and common sense understands that the primary needs of any human being is food, shelter, and safety; not a particular form of government, and certainly not a democracy. Yearning for a more fair form of government is a luxury that only people in more developed societies can afford. None of the Middle Eastern countries (except Israel and Turkey) are ready for any sort of democracy and frankly, most of the people living there abhor democracy, as they consider it a Western concept that is completely foreign to their traditions and beliefs. 

    Somehow you and your bleeding-heart liberal friends think that democracy is the only legitimate form of government, whereas most countries in the world have either never had a democracy in their entire history or have only had it for a small fraction of their entire existence. 

    Singapore is the prime example of a prosperous, safe, and happy country and people with no democracy. If you asked Singaporeans whether they would exchange their safety and prosperity under an authoritarian regime for a democracy with all of its downsides, such as the lack of certainty in your future, higher crime rates, drugs, violence, etc., you would be completely blown away to find out that most of them prefer living under the current regime that guarantees jobs, high incomes, free healthcare and free education, absolute safety with virtually no crime, etc. which results in happy lives, stable families, happy, healthy, and well educated kids, high-tech economy, etc.

    Only left-wing radical lunatics like you would believe that safety and prosperity would be easily sacrificed for a dysfunctional democracy, as it would most certainly happen in any Middle Eastern society. Travel to UAE and talk to the citizens there. See how many you can find who want their authoritarians governments to be replaced by a democracy. Then come back here and eat crow. 


    edited January 24
  • Reply 11 of 11
    jbdragon said:
    It's pretty strange that it took Target this long to finally support Apple Pay in their Stores!!!! Target has Supported Apple Pay since day 1 for Online Shopping. So it's good see see them finally cave. Same goes for Taco Bell and Jack on the box. The more places the better. Wal-Mart is going to be the last holdout. They are going to stick with their QR codes for as long as they can.
    hentaiboy said:
    Perhaps Apple needs to create a new third world brand with a different name. An “affordable” high quality phone to compete with others but without sullying the Apple iPhone brand. Owned by Apple but perhaps even HQ’d in India. A semi-autonomous company that is informed by Apple’s ethic but not saddled by it. Everyone would “know” it’s an Apple phone; the halo effect, but it’s not an iPhone. 
    Not a bad idea. Like Rolex and Tudor.
    It's a dumb idea! What's Apple going to run on that Android? it can't be iOS. A watch is one thing. you're not normally running a OS on it. If you were, and running Android, running under some other name and still using Android, no big deal, you can hide that.
    Who said anything about Android? Apple is perfectly capable of creating a new OS for this phone. Would have to. A chance to start from scratch, knowing what they’ve learned from 12 generations of iOS. One of the things I miss from early iOS (MacOS too for that matter) was its simplicity. My idea is NOT so much that it’s a cheap iPhone, but rather an entirely new class of phone—a phone “for the rest of us” speaking as a tribal African or an Indian farmer. I trust Apple, aided and abetted by thoughtful young engineers from these places could reinvent this class of phone. The fact that it came from the mind of Apple would be a cachet selling point, just as it is for their premium phones. Or, you could just label my ideas as “dumb.”
    watto_cobra
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