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Iran reports 85% surge in mobile phone imports y/y in March-August

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran imported $1.395 billion worth of mobile phones in the five months to late August.

Iran’s imports of mobile phones rose by 85% in value terms the five months to August 22 compared to the similar period last year as shipments accounted for nearly 10% of the country’s total imports over the period.

A Saturday report by the semi-official ISNA agency said that Iran's mobile phone imports had topped $1.395 billion in the first five months of the current calendar year.

It said shipments had risen 36% in volume terms compared to March-August 2020 to 2,560 metric tons.

The report regretted that increased mobile phone imports into Iran had come despite foreign currency restrictions facing the country because of the US sanctions.

It said that mobile phone shipments were the most valuable as money spent on their imports had exceeded that of major categories like basic goods, staples and medicines.

That comes as he increased use and imports of mobile phones in Iran seems to be consistent with a global trend reported since the start of the coroanvirus pandemic in early 2019.

Many Iranians have been forced to use online services, including virtual classes for their children, because of pandemic-related closures and restrictions imposed by the government.

A report by the Iranian Association of Mobile Phone Importers published last month showed that the number of mobile phones switched on for a first time in the country since August 2020 had reached 16.7 million.

South Korea’s Samsung and China’s Xiaomi collectively accounted for 87 of the mobile phone brands sold in the Iranian market over the period.

Mobile phone imports topped 15.003 million units in the calendar year to March of which some 14 million devices had been switched on.

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