If recent reports emanating out of Iran are anything to go by, Apple is allegedly removing various iOS apps created by Iranian developers and companies.

For the unfamiliar, Apple opened its App Store to the country in September 2016 for a short period. Some of these limitations also got lifted during the same period. 

According to a report from TechRasa, DigiKala — the biggest Iranian e-commerce app — was removed from the App Store a few days ago. 

"Apple has been removing Iranian apps which facilitate transactions for businesses or entities based in Iran. Apple also recently removed DigiKala's app from the App Store," revealed the publication.

The App Store Message

Iranian developers have also been receiving a message each time they attempt to upload any app on the App store. The message reveals that no App Store is available for Iran. The message goes on to add that apps that are capable of enabling transactions for entities or businesses that are Iran-based may not be compliant to "Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations (31CFR Part 560) when hosted on the App Store."

The App Store elaborates that it is not able to accept the application from the user presently. However, it asks users to resubmit their application. This can be done once the international trade laws have been reviewed to enable the feature.

Iran currently has no App Store present in the country, although several establishments have registered themselves as being present outside the Iranian territory to use the facilities. 

DigiKala is also not too aligned with the international laws, given that it utilizes the Shaparak system for payment, which is in conflict with the terms and conditions of Apple. 

There are a few banks in Iran though which are believed to have apps based on the iOS platform. 

Gadget-Oriented Nation

Iran is a very gadget-oriented nation with close to 40 million smartphone users in the country. Out of the number of smartphones, at least 6 million are said to be iPhones. The total population of this gulf nation is close to about 82 million people, with a mammoth 100,000 phones being reportedly brought into the country on a regular basis each month. 

Why The Decision?

It is not clear why Iranian apps are being removed from the App Store and what has prompted this decision.

The nature of apps which are being removed is also not specified, which makes it difficult to ascertain whether all the Iranian app startups and developers have been dropped or if it is restricted to apps which assist in financial transactions. 

Photo: Marco Paköeningrat | Flickr

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