Argentina blocking iPhone sales in order to boost its ailing economy

Argentina has blocked the sale of iPhone and BlackBerry devices in a move that is intended to boost its ailing economy. The ban is part of a selective consumer electronics ban aimed at slowing inflation and balancing its own pesos currency against the U.S. dollar.

The new ban is an extension of the Argentina Ministry Industry's March 2011 decision to eliminate the automatic import license of certain smartphones, forcing Apple and RIM to wait 60 to 180 days for Customs Authority approval to sell their devices.

If Apple wants to continue selling devices in Argentina, it must build its own manufacturing plant or at least partner with a local company who can offer manufacturing to Apple. Other manufacturers like Motorola, Nokia and Samsung have already moved part of their manufacturing to Argentina after the government passed Internal Revenue Law which nearly doubled tax levies for certain imported devices.

Source: Apple Insider


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Argentina blocking iPhone sales in order to boost its ailing economy


Argentina isn't a big enough of a market to warrant its own manufacturing plant. This government is only shooting itself in the foot. Hope such dickheads don't get reelected.

They did get re elected for having the guts to take this kind of move to help the workers.
The New York Times said that USA government should learn from the re elected Argentine president.

This kind of moves doesn't help the workers. The amount of people employed in Tierra Del Fuego is nowhere near the amount of people who lost their jobs in the rest of the country because of businesses closing their doors cause they had nothing to sell (I'm talking about stores dedicated to sell imported goods).
The balance is negative.
And regarding that New York Times "article", it was an opinion article. It's neither the opinion of the media, nor an official posture. It's just a journalist's opinion. Nothing else.

I really doubt I will ever believe in a lefty government that buys thousands of acres to its own government for couple hundred thousand dollars (that belongs to it's own people), and sell it for millions. You rather start understanding economy if you plan to defend your president, since it is impossible that the system in place hold any more.

Let Argentina do what it wants. At least it's doing this to help itself, rather than Korea doing biased rulings to nationalistically boost their "own" company.

RIM already has a manufacturing facility in the south, so not sure how accurate that article is, though this is old news.

I live in Argentina, and the 90 % of the (medium-low, medium, medium-high) people disagree with this measure. The only thing that we are doing is bring EVERYTHING from the outside and assembly in Tierra del Fuego. That's the same that bringing in the entire product, it doesn't work either.

Your statistics are based on what? You mention percentages but where did you get that number from?
Clearly those who oppose it (there are always people defending the mediocre system they live in and wanna blame other people for trying to make a change for the better but they themselves bring nothing to the table but negativity and compaints which is the main reason progress takes so long to become reality in Argentina) -
What I'm saying is Argentina has a lot of closed minded people who never left town and think they are absolutely the owners of the truth but are unable to see from different perspectives or even analize reliable data to see the odds of achieving something.

I don't believe in statistics either. But i really doubt I will ever believe in a lefty government that buys thousands of acres to its own government for couple hundred thousand dollars (that belongs to the people), and sell it for millions. Come on people, do you really believe this government does something for your good without thinking in their own good? It is an economic mess; it is to difficult to explain how their thinking is not our welfare in a couple of lines, but, believe me when I say it is not the case.

They disagree because they cannot get their expensive imported gadgets or because it does not make economic sense? I bet if you asked people about taxes, more than 100% would be against it, but no country can work without them.
Anyway, it did not seem to bother Motorola, Nokia and Samsung.
The only problem I see is that, much like Brazil with the Manaus Free Zone, moving everything to a distant place like Tierra Del Fuego just add infrastructure and transportation costs that offset the benefits of the measure in first place.

I used to be a successful smartphone manufacturer like you, till I took an iPhone to the knee.

Its a very good measure by the argentinian govt. The US shou ld do the same, they should offer jobs in proportion to the sales that they do, by bringing their products from over seas does not help our economy, it only boosts their economy. I still remember when many people lost their job when many high tech companies took their factories over seas, look at how the chinese and India's economy is growing because many companies are going there to get their labor.

In time this move will benefit the professional work force Argentina has to supply these companies and without a doubt will benefit its economy instead of passing the whole earnings to the manufacturer itself. At least a slice of the pie will stay in the country.

obama already tried to push for something similar to this via tax cuts for only the companies that kept jobs and the us and raise taxes for companies that ship jobs over seas. the republicans blocked this and called it socialism and raising taxes on job creators....

That's slightly different. That's a US based company using out of country cheap labor to inflate their bottom line. That's what Obama wanted to keep from continuing to happen. This is an outside country stating that they want part of the pie if an out of country company wants to sell their products in their country. You know what I say?... Fine, keep your Pesos, I'm not opening up a plant in your country at my dime only to have piss-poor QC coming out of your workers.
This is basically economic blackmail. (You can sell me your products as long as I work for you and make them.) That's BS and Apple should give them the finger.

Hooray for socialism! Down with the evils of freedom... Funny to watch this one step forward three steps back BS so enamored by central planners and leftwing loons.

Yea, in the US it's "socialism" for a countries government to look out for the best interests of it's own populous. Unless the idea comes from a Con, then it's "patriotism".

Well spoken comrade and may I compliment you on your sensible government approved grey jumpsuit, government approved flip phone etc. Sadly trade protectionism isn't looking out for your citizens best interests it merely limits their options while inflating the price of inferior goods.

Ehm, guys, it's just rumours, it's not actually true that they're going to block iPhone sales in Argentina...

Dear US citizens:
We'll gladly receive you in Argentina when your country fell apart in a middle of an inevitable crisis. There's a lot of jobs for people like you.
BTW, you can earn a few bucks by selling your iphones here, because we ran out of those cellphones.
We will be eagerly waiting for your inmigration. Don't despair, you will receive the same treatment you give to non us citizens at your country...