Apple product vendors in Iran are rubbishing and laughing at reports from last week about US Apple Store employees refusing sales to Farsi-speaking customers.
A weekend story from the Agency France-Presse (via MSN News) reported that iPhones and iPads are widespread throughout Iran’s capital:
One salesman who gave only his first name, Hossein, told AFP that he had sold 40 iPhones the day before, and explained that prices for Apple items in Iran were only around $50-$60 more than in the United States.
Hossein explained that it was easy for traders to workaround the export restriction. He said that every now and then, Apple’s highly coveted products are smuggled into Iran through Iraq. He also noted practically everyone in Tehran owned an iOS device, while other salesclerks claimed several shops were “dressed up to look like official Apple Stores.”
Despite the vendors’ jibes, and their claims about Iran’s unwavering access to the Apple products, many questioned Apple’s treatment of Farsi-speaking US customers, which bordered on racial profiling. Perhaps those people wanted their 15 seconds of fame. They ignored that being a multi-national, Apple never discriminated on racial grounds. Some reports said that an Apple Store in Georgia refused to sell iOS devices to an Alpharetta woman and her uncle, because they spoke Farsi, a Persian-Iranian language, to each other.
Another customer, Zack Jafarzadeh, reportedly received the same treatment at a different Apple Store in Atlanta when he accompanied a fluent friend to buy an iPhone.
Probably seeking fame, Sabet and Jafarzadeh asserted that the Apple Stores racially profiled Iranians and discriminated against them. They further said Apple’s policy was both confusing and inconsistent.
A representative for the US State Department clarified there was no policy or law that prohibited Apple from selling products in the US to anybody intending to use them stateside, including customers of Iranian descent or citizenship, but customers did need a license to take the “high-technology goods” to Iran.
Apparently, though, at least to a few vendors in Iran, that license is a joke.
Do you believe the things that Sabet said about Apple, given the fact that a multi-national that has international reputation would think thousand times before practicing racial discrimination? Post your comments.
Source: 9TO5 Mac