EghtesadOnline: Reports speak of a 73% slump in tablet imports following foreign currency rate fluctuations and a new crackdown on contraband tablet devices.
During the first month of the current Iranian year which ended on April 20, the value of 7-inch and larger tablets supporting SIMs mostly brought into the country from China and the United Arab Emirates stood at $514,577, a staggering 73% year-on-year tumble, according to statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration. The same time span last year saw the import of over $1,956,342 worth of tablets.
The decline can be traced back to a new directive, requiring tablets supporting SIM cards to enter the country under the condition of obtaining an identification number and registry with state institutions.
The measure is part of a larger scheme to reduce entry of contraband electronics and generate revenue for the government. The initial phase of the scheme involved mobile phones, subjecting one brand after another to the new law, Financial Tribune reported.
Aimed at curbing cellphone smuggling, the ICT Ministry, IRICA, the Communications Regulatory Authority and the Industries Ministry created the Mobile Registry Scheme according to which local operators are barred from offering services to contraband phones.
With the conclusion of the Mobile Registry Scheme in April, authorities have now turned to SIM supporting tablets to cut off illegally imported commodities.
According to market insiders, the new directive is one of the reasons why the tablet imports have dropped significantly.
Forex fluctuation is another factor contributing to the sharp decline. Since last December, the foreign exchange market has been in a state of upheaval as the US dollar exchange rate jumped to unprecedented levels several times before the government of President Hassan Rouhani stepped in and unified the rate at 42,000 rials in April to put an end to the raging market.
The cut in supply and the unstable foreign currency market are sure to leave their impact on tablet prices.
Based on the experience with Mobile Registry Scheme, the tablet market must expect an at least 20-30% price jump in the coming months.