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Argentina’s iPhone Problem

February 21st, 2012 | Categoría: Economics, Technology


Many of you know that Argentina has banned the iPhone.

The government hasn’t prohibited its use but instead has blocked imports of the world’ most popular smartphone.

I wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal about the issue. You can read it here.

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DonaldNo Gravatar says:

“The ban on iPhone imports is part of a broader import substitution system that encourages the replacement of imported products with locally made goods. ”

Can you comment about which sector of the economy will actually benefit from the import restrictions? I can’t imgaine that there is any plan in place to revive a robust electronics industry in Argentina, so who exactly will benefit from the “import substitution”? Retailers? Product assemblers (is this a way of working around import restrictions?)? I’m assuming that the Fernandez de Kirchner administration implemented the restrictions with a specific paypack in mind from some sector within the economy. Can you enlighten me?
As for the iPhone restrictions, what hypocrisy! If they’re going to be “banned”, then it should be illegal to possess or “brandish” one in public. Just think, Boudou could empathize with the thwarted entitlement of the middle class!

jimNo Gravatar says:

apple isnt going to deliver iphones to anyone who isnt going to pay them in a dollar-convertible currency ( the argentine “kirchner” ranks slightly below the drachma and above the “mugabe” on that score).
argentina’s forex reserves are running out. you maintain the reserves by squeezing the black market in foreign currency. you do that by going after supply (cracking down on the black marketeers) and demand (making it so there is less being bought that has to be paid for by dollars bought on the black market).
what’s next? i’d suggest that anyone coming up with a way of turning soy beans into electronics will be very rich, very soon in argentina.

BeatrizNo Gravatar says:

Hi there,
the reason for the Iphone being prohibited in Argentina is because Apple policies. I have read sometime ago that Apple didn’t allow to export to several countries for 4 years, Argentina between them. I don’t know the reason but this is the true.
Don’t you know that they were sold for a while by the telephone companies and sudenly they didn’t anymore? This happened approximately one year ago.

DavidNo Gravatar says:

I am sure if Apple opened an assembly plant in Argentina and sent a big campaign contribtion to Christina all these bans would be be behind them.

BeatrizNo Gravatar says:

Agree David. But don’t forget “Moreno”. He needs a very special gift…


We’re looking into the possibility of coming to live in Argentina in the future. I’m a big fan of Android and google which i assume is available in Argentina. What would happen if I bought a UK phone to Argentina. Would it work if i purchased a local SIM card? Many thanks and keep up the excellent blogging


taosNo Gravatar says:

Hi Chris, as long as the phone is GSM and is unlocked, it will work fine here. Good luck with everything! Taos

JamesNo Gravatar says:

How much does a grey market Iphone go for in BA?

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