Apple has started removing apps originating in Iran from the App Store, pulling down the app of the biggest Iranian e-commerce service a few days ago, reports say.
In September 2016, Apple started opening up its non-official App Store to Iranians but it has removed Digikala without providing any explanation.
Iran is estimated to have about 40 million smartphones with 6 million Apple iPhones. Around 100,000 iPhones are reportedly smuggled in every month and many companies have registered their apps being outside of Iran so as to get listed on the store.
Digikala which uses the Shaparak payment system has been removed even as it is isolated from international systems and thus does not contradict Apple’s terms and conditions for developers.
It’s not explicitly known if all apps from Iranian startups and developers are being removed, or if it’s only apps that facilitate transactions.
Many Iranian banks have iOS apps that are side-loaded onto devices to avoid violating those terms and conditions.
Developers who attempt to upload apps face the message, “Unfortunately, there is no App Store available for the territory of Iran.”
“Additionally, apps facilitating transactions for businesses or entities based in Iran may not comply with the Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations (31CFR Part 560) when hosted on the App Store,” the message says.
“For these reasons, we are unable to accept your application at this time. We encourage you to resubmit your application once international trade laws are revised to allow this functionality,” it adds.