The government of Iran has ordered Apple to register its iPhone products in the country or face having its devices banned. According to a report from The Japan Times, which cites the Tasnim news agency, authorities are giving the device manufacturer just days to register. The move comes as part of new anti-smuggling measures. While it is thought that millions of iPhones are already in use in Iran, these have been smuggled into the country since Apple does not officially sell its products there.
The government intends to launch a handset database so that all new devices must be registered before they can be activated; unless Apple opens an official sales channel in the country then no new iPhones will be eligible to be used. Authorities say that they will also confiscate iPhones that are already being utilised in Iran, though local commentators point out that this would be extremely difficult to police. Around 40 million of Iran’s 113 million mobile subscribers are currently thought to be using smartphones.