A local news agency in Tehran earlier reported that the Iranian government officials sent out an ultimatum to Apple Inc. According to the report, Apple is being asked by government to have the business officially registered; otherwise their products will be banned and the existing ones will be ‘collected.’
The order comes from Iran’s anti-smuggling office director who encourages Apple to appoint an official representative within the next few days.
Sources reveal that this ultimatum is aimed at countering the problem of smuggling smartphones into Iran, especially since a number of iPhone devices were said to have been smuggled into the country.
A representative from the government agency said that all mobile phones will now have to be registered with their telecommunications user database. The use of non-registered devices will be banned thereafter.
To implement this, a project has been initiated to run under the president’s office. The project is said to start later in the week yet does not prohibit Apple from registering a store in Iran legally.
But while mobile operators, the union of mobile phone sellers, and customs have pledged to cooperate in the project, there are IT activists who are against the decision of banning iPhones, especially since it will not be so easy to collect such a huge number of devices.
Plus, there’s also a concern on the risks of its database getting hacked. Former iPhone and other smuggled smartphone users are excluded from the project.
Apple has not yet commented on the report.