Iran with a population of 84 million has imported over 18 million mobile phones in the last 12 months, with Samsung and Xiaomi having the largest market share.

The spokesman for the association of mobile phone importers, Mohammadreza Aalian, told IRNA that Samsung had a 48-percent market share with 8,710,000 phones of different models worth nearly $1.88 billion.

Chinese brand Xiaomi had 28 percent of the market with 5,210,000 million cellphones, which totaled about $1.1 billion.

The third brand was Nokia with 12 percent or 2,250,000 that was worth only $54 million because most were simple devices, not smartphones.

Apple had a 6-percent share with 1,030,000 phones worth $1.35 billion, making it the runner-up in terms of the total value.

According to an earlier report by Tasnim news agency, Iran spent $9 billion in foreign currency to import 45 million cellphones in 33 months, until the end of 2021, with a large portion going for “luxury” devices with a price tag of over $600.

According to Tasnim’s data, around one quarter of the money, or about $2.3 billion was spent on importing just two million luxury phones – mainly from the American brand Apple. This is less than five percent of the total number of phones bought by the people. Buying such cellphones is too extravagant for most Iranians with ordinary nine-to-five jobs who are paid about $100 to $200 per month.

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