iBan? Iran wants to put an end to iPhone smuggling by banning product altogether

apple oled microled display iphone iphoneinus wr
Regardless of whether it’s through the use of Twinkies boxes, slingshots, crossbows, or even your own body, iPhone smuggling is a real issue in several parts of the world. One of those areas appears to be Iran, which threatened Apple with an iPhone ban in the hope of curbing smuggling, according to Japan Times.

Similar to India, Apple does not officially sell iPhones in Iran, even though the company is reportedly in negotiations to change that. Even so, 40 million Iranians are reported to use smartphones, with millions of iPhones said to be smuggled into the country.

As a result, Iran’s anti-smuggling office has begun an effort that requires all mobile phones, smart or dumb, to be registered with the country’s telecommunications database. The agency singled out the iPhone, saying that if Apple does not officially register in Iran, the company will have its products banned from the country. However, folks who previously owned iPhones will not be affected.

“If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” said the anti-smuggling office director.

Even though the effort is backed by mobile operators and the government, the Tehran IT union is not nearly as thrilled. More specifically, the group is not too sure about the logistics of how Iran plans to collect millions of iPhones if Apple’s representative does not show up.

“Collecting this huge number of iPhones will not be easy,” said the head of the union.

Furthermore, the group raised security concerns, worrying about potential hacking of the telecommunications database. On a wider scale, there are questions as to how the Iranian government will use the data, particularly since Amnesty International’s yearly report accused the country’s government of having “severely curtailed the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, arresting and imprisoning journalists, human rights defenders, trade unionists, and others who voiced dissent, on vague and overly broad charges.”

This is not the first time Iran attempted to rein in technology, however. In an effort to place tighter controls on foreign social media and messaging apps, the country established new regulations that forced messaging companies to transfer data linked to citizens into Iran. Seemingly more outlandish was Iran’s belief that Kim Kardashian and Instagram acted as “foreign” agents who corrupt its web users.

Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…

Vivo V15 Pro’s trick camera rises to the challenge of making us smile

Vivo knows it's onto a winner with the cool motorized camera seen on the Vivo Nex S, and has now incorporated a newer version of the technology into the V15 Pro. We've tried it out.
Home Theater

Accidentally aired Samsung ad shows Galaxy S10, Galaxy Buds a day before launch

One day before the launch event that is widely expected to contain both the new Galaxy S10 smartphone and the Galaxy Buds fully wireless earbuds, an accidentally aired Samsung TV ad from Norway confirms both products.

The name of Samsung's folding phone may have been revealed a day early

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

The Razer Phone 2 is getting Android 9.0 Pie starting this month

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Apple brings back the iPhone SE with a $100 clearance discount included

Apple is offering the iPhone SE on their online clearance store once again. With discounts of $100, you can get a brand new unlocked iPhone SE for as little as $249. This offer is only available while supplies last.

Apple stomps on one FaceTime bug, only to have another one appear

Having fixed a FaceTime bug that let users eavesdrop on calls, another issue with Apple's video chat app appears to have surfaced. It concerns adding people to group calls, though there is a workaround.

To avoid the notch, Vivo’s new smartphone has a secret selfie camera

Vivo has already experimented with a motorized selfie camera and now it's bringing the cool technology to a more affordable device -- the Vivo V15 Pro. Here's everything you need to know about the phone.
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.