Apple has begun removing Iranian apps from the App store
Rapporteur_Hessam Karbasian: Today we use the smartphone's popularity among the people and this popularity has a significant impact on the common market and selling the product.
One reason for the popularity of smartphones among people is their simplicity and practicality that not only young and educated sections of society benefits although and even older people with lower qualification are also easily using this product.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of the product among the people is using of social networks and entertain and communicate in the simplest manner possible that Has strengthened the link between human rights as well.
In Iran today, we see that more than 40 million smartphones among Iranians that nearly 6 million of these phones are Apple's US factory goods. Therefore, Iran is an appropriate country and a thriving market for this American Product.
But do not forget, many scientists and software developers at companies like Apple or Microsoft are Iranians. So it is natural for people to continue working with the new rules Trump have problems and therefore the company will be a big problem.
Sanctions software a few years ago and was followed by economic sanctions against the Iranian people suffered. Even when access to the App Store or Google Play and Apple's two official Google app to download software or to update them without bypassing the sanctions was impossible.
But recently removed some sanctions, Iranians were provided access to the store and could easily use their facilities.
Website TechCrunch published a report on Iran's developers, claiming Apple is removing applications that Iranians by startups and developers has been released in the App Store.
Reports coming out of Iran suggest that Apple has allegedly started removing iOS apps originating from the country’s startups and developers. Prior to this, Apple had, in a limited manner, opened up its App Store to Iranians in September 2016 and appeared to be gradually lifting some of the limitations, periodically, since then.
According to credible tech news site Techrasa, the biggest Iranian e-commerce service, Digikala, which has millions of users, had its app removed from the App Store just a few days ago.
While there is no official App Store available for the territory of Iran, many companies registered their apps as being outside of Iran to be able to get onto the store.
Digikala uses the Shaparak payment system which is completely isolated from international systems, so would in theory not contravene Apple’s T&Cs.
In addition, several banks in Iran have apps for the iOS platform which are often side-loaded onto phones.
Iranians are ‘gadget-mad’, with an estimated 40M smartphones in the country, of which there are an estimated 6M iPhones. The population is around 82 million, with an average age of under 30 years old. Reportedly, around 100,000 iPhones are smuggled into the country every month. Obviously this leads to an equally large market for after-sale services and accessories. In other words, if Apple could fully engage with the market, they would find it a highly lucrative one.
However the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury puts blocks on this market. According to Techrasa, Apple has sent the following to Iranian startups attempting to upload apps:
“Unfortunately, there is no App Store available for the territory of Iran. Additionally, apps facilitating transactions for businesses or entities based in Iran may not comply with the Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations (31CFR Part 560) when hosted on the App Store. For these reasons, we are unable to accept your application at this time. We encourage you to resubmit your application once international trade laws are revised to allow this functionality.”
Apple’s Cut and In-App Purchase
One of the main problems that Iranian startups are dealing with is the In-App Purchase feature. Since Apple’s cut in the In-App Purchase is usually 30% (it varies in different countries), it’s important for them to get their commission. Some might think that these apps are getting blocked since they’re bypassing Apple, but this is not the story with the Iranian startups. According to Apple:
You can use In-App Purchase to sell content, app functionality, services and subscriptions:
Content includes digital books, magazines, photos, artwork, game levels, game characters, and other digital content that can be delivered within your application.
Functionality products unlock or expand features you’ve already delivered in your application. For example, you could ship a game with multiple smaller games that could be purchased by the user.
Services allow your application to charge users for one-time services, such as voice transcription. Each time the service is used is a separate purchase.
Subscriptions provide access to content or services on an extended basis. For example, your application might offer monthly access to financial information or to an online game portal.
TechCrunch has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post if we get a response.