A Microsoft Store has opened in Tehran for sales of mobile phones produced by the multinational US technology giant, an Iranian news agency says.
If confirmed, it will be the first US company to open a presence in Iran, coming on the heels of a landmark nuclear agreement reached in July to lift all trade sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
According to the Tasnim news agency on Thursday, “the American company of Microsoft stole a lead to open a mobile phone sales store in Iran”.
“This five-unit store has been opened by Pars Samtel, the exclusive agent of Microsoft mobile phones, at Iran Mobile Marketplace on Hafez Avenue in Tehran, with the company’s banner ad clarifying that the store is the first in Iran,” it said.
Microsoft has been long eyeing the huge Iranian market of 80 million people where over 90% of computers use a version of the company’s Windows.
Like other American companies, Microsoft wanted to sell mobile phones, software, and other communication technology to Iranians but was fearful of running foul of the US sanctions regime.
Apple was among the first US firms to push the envelop on Iran, allowing sales of its Mac and iPhone range to Iranian customers and granting them access to its App Store.
Apple is said to be in contact with Iranian distributors about the possibility of entering the country when the sanctions are lifted.
However, no other US company has raised more controversy than McDonald’s after putting a franchising application form for Iran on its website.
The move set off a chorus of anti-American voices from some quarters in Iran, prompting the fast-food chain to say it had not set a firm date for development of McDonald’s restaurants in Iran though, in the future, they “may take steps to do so”.
US media are criticizing “strict, decades-old restrictions” that will continue to prohibit trade with Iran even after sanctions against the country are lifted.
The Wall Street Daily has warned in an article that US corporations are set to lose big to their European and Asian rivals once the gates to the Iranian market open in a post-sanction period.
By Press TV