Apple has been warned by the Iranian government that it faces having its products banned in the country unless it officially registers with Iran's anti-smuggling office.
"If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market," said the director of Iran's anti-smuggling project on Sunday.
The ultimatum was reported by Tasnim News Agency and translated today by The Japan Times. According to the report, more than 40 million Iranians use smartphones, including millions of iPhone users whose devices are often imported into the country by smugglers.
To stop the flow of smuggled phones, Iran's presidential office will initiate a scheme later this week that requires all mobile phones to be registered with Iran's telecommunications user database. Phones not registered will not be able to be used in the country. According to the office, former users of iPhones and other smuggled phones are excluded from the scheme.
Despite the cooperation of mobile operators, customs, and the union of mobile phone sellers, IT activists in the country have criticized the state's decision to potentially ban iPhones.
"Collecting this huge number of iPhones will not be easy," the head of the Tehran IT union told Tasnim News, and expressed concerns that the telecommunications database could be susceptible to hacking attempts.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.