Egypt wants an Apple hub despite ongoing fight over local iPhone prices

“Egypt would like to see a more direct physical presence from tech giant Apple even as the two are caught up in conflict over local iPhone sales, the country’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said Wednesday,” Natasha Turak reports for CNBC. “‘I think Egypt is a big market and attractive for Apple to exist in directly. Apple has been in Egypt but through indirect agents, suppliers … But really, we discussed yesterday (with Apple), the idea really (is) to have Apple be in Egypt to be one of its industrial hubs and a destination to serve the whole region,’ the prime minister told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.”

“Egypt’s Competition Authority on December 11 gave Apple a deadline of 60 days to resolve ‘unfair restrictions’ over marked-up phones, whose price tags put them at as much as 50 percent higher than iPhones in other Middle Eastern countries,” Turak reports. “The Competition Authority says this is because Apple is breaking the law by preventing its Middle East distributor from selling to local Egyptian distributors, deterring ‘intra-brand competition’ and isolating the country from the broader regional market. While their threat doesn’t include a permanent ban on sales, they have promised legal action if nothing is fixed by the 60-day deadline.”

“Madbouli, who was named as prime minister by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in June of last year, said that while talking to Apple representatives at the Forum he floated the idea of collaboration toward reforming Egypt’s education system,” Turak reports. “He hoped Apple’s engagement with the country of 97 million would manifest itself ‘specifically with our very ambitious program in reforming education, and how we are introducing now the technology for our students and children, and I believe here Apple can play a substantial role in that respect.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like an opportunity! Keep Egypt’s students and teachers off the crappy Chromebooks, Apple!

Apple accused by Egypt of violating competition laws – December 11, 2018

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