iPhone users in Iran are no longer able to access the App Store starting today.
The App Store ban appears to be IP based, which means there are ways for users to get around it, but it’s unclear whether Apple is behind the ban or if it was done by the government.
Apple currently doesn’t sell its products on Iran due to sanctions. The iPhone can still be purchased in the country though thanks to third-parties that bring units in from Asia. iPhone 8 units were reportedly on sale in Iran 24 hours after it went on sale in other countries.
When trying to visit the App Store, Iranians are now greeted by a message saying “The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in”. Users can no longer download new apps or update apps already installed on their device.
Last year, Apple banned all apps made by Iranian developers due to U.S. sanctions. iPhone users only make up about 11% of Irans smartphone market though so the ban hasn’t had a huge impact.
Iran’s iPhone users can still use a VPN network to mask their true location and thereby access the App Store.