The Wall Street Journal, quoting the ever popular “people familiar with the matter,” reports that Apple is in the early stages of discussion with “Iranian distributors” to bring the iPhone to Iran.
WSJ, via 9to5Mac:
Apple Inc. is in preliminary contact with Iranian distributors about a possible entry into the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently, people familiar with the matter said.
Political tension, as well as financial and banking sanctions, have previously prevented companies from conducting business in Iran, however a policy change in May lifted the ban on sales of “consumer communications technologies” in the country, opening the door for companies like Apple.
The report claims “senior Apple executives” have already met with potential Iranian distributors at Apple’s regional headquarters in London.
In the conversations, the Cupertino, Calif., company explored the possibility of having Iranian partners sell Apple products at so-called premium resellers, three of the people said. Instead of company-operated Apple stores, such outlets would be midsize franchisees that sell Apple products only, a model the company has used in Europe and Asia, the people said.
Apple is also reportedly in talks with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Frozen Assets Control as to the possibility of conducting business in Iran.