Even though the United States has sanctions on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products sold in Iran, Apple products are still in high demand there.
One prime example of this is the Radan Mac store in Tehran. This store sells Apple products and other technology brands from the US. It’s one of the estimated 100 stores in Tehran that sell Apple products openly to the public. The store’s owner Majid Tavassoli spoke in a recent telephone interview where he mentioned that his business has boomed in just the last three years. He also claims that his company has been in business since 1995 and they currently employee over 20 people. They also specialize in business clients and currently serve many companies including the Central Bank of Iran, newspapers, TV stations, and more.
Washington placed a sanction on Iran in hoped to halt the nuclear program but unfortunately, it also barred the company from selling products to Iran. Many stores and tech companies work to get around this ban as some Iranian shop owners buy Apple and other American tech products through underground sources. The digital sales in Apple, however, go directly through iTunes and App Store. It’s also reported that Iran has a growing market for download purchases. This means that Apple products like the iPhone and iPad will only be even in more demand.
When you’ve got a brand and products that are in high demand like Apple, it’s going to be hard for officials to enforce laws that would hinder business. And even if they did enforce the laws, that’s not to say that Iran’s electronics retailers wouldn’t take their business further underground.
One of the big epicenter’s of the trade is the Capital Computer Complex, a large trader center that features over 350 traders who sell a variety of technology products for Iran’s tech consumers.
Another popular retailer is called Apple Iran, a website that is eerily similar to Apple’s official website except that their’s features Persian language and legal disclaimer that states they’re not affiliated with Apple. Some sources claim that Apple has been trying to shut the website down.
It doesn’t look like Iran is going to stop selling Apple products anytime soon despite the sanctions. However, as long as sensitive technology does not reach Iran, the main goal of sanctions will be accomplished. We highly doubt the country wants to prevent people from using iPhones. The Sanctions want to prevent nuclear and military technology from reaching the country.