Apple is in a delicate situation in Egypt, where the country’s Competition Authority last December set a 60-day deadline for the company to address “unfair restrictions” on high iPhone prices in that country.
We recently learned from Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt, that the African country is putting pressure on Apple to establish a “centre” in the country and contribute to educational reform. All this in spite of the aforementioned conflict with the prices of the iPhone.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said he was able to negotiate with Apple representatives at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. The company is currently in Egypt through “indirect agents”, as the company does not have any headquarters. However, as Madbouly stated , they want the company’s presence in the country to be greater.
Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt
“I think Egypt is a big and attractive market for Apple to set up. Apple has been in Egypt, but through indirect agents, suppliers… But really, as we discussed yesterday, the idea is that it is in Egypt to be one of its industrial centers and a destination to serve the whole region.” The Prime Minister told CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble.
Madbouly also added that he would like to work with Apple so that the company could help implement a reform of the education system in Egypt . Egypt is paying great attention to the use of technology in schools and the company led by Tim Cook could play a key role in this.
“With our ambitious program to reform education, and as we are introducing technology to our students and children, I believe Apple can play an important role in this regard.
As we said, these intentions on the part of the Egyptian government to work with Apple clash head-on with the ruling of the Egyptian Competition Authority that last month gave the company 60 days to resolve an issue related to iPhone pricing. This is because in Egypt an Apple mobile phone costs up to 50% more than in other Middle Eastern countries.
It appears that Apple would be breaking the law by prohibiting its Middle Eastern distributors from selling to local suppliers in Egypt. Cupertino’s company has yet to comment publicly on these allegations and is expected to make a plea in the coming days or weeks. We also do not know what sanction he might face if he does not comply with the requirements of the Egyptian Competition Authority. It is likely that the company would have to pay a fine and the intentions of the Egyptian government to ‘bring’ them into the country would probably come to nothing.
What do you think of Apple’s situation in Egypt, along with the wishes of the country’s prime minister? Leave your impressions in the comments.