Georgia Apple Store Employees Refuse to Sell an Iranian Woman an iPhone
In a situation that has sparked controversy, a Fulton County, Georgia Apple Store refused to sell a woman and her uncle an iPhone because they were speaking Farsi to one another. The customers are claiming that the store blatantly discriminated and racially profiled against them.
Sahar Sabet, 19, is a United States citizen and student at the University of Georgia. She and her uncle were recently shopping for an iPad and iPhone at an Apple Store in the North Pointe Mall. They were conversing in Farsi, an Iranian language, when an employee overheard them and asked what language they were speaking.
According to a local news outlet, WSBTV, the woman answered, but the Apple Store employee quickly said, “I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations.”
Sabet returned to the same Apple Store on Monday with a reporter, and they caught the same employee describing Apple Store policy that allegedly prohibits the sale of Apple products to Iranian customers. A manager showed Sabet and the reporter the policy which states that the exportation, sale, or supply of Apple products from U.S. to Iran is not allowed without prior authorization by the federal government.
A U.S. State Department representative said that it was illegal to enter Iran with laptops or smartphones without prior U.S. consent, but that she also knew nothing of “Apple enforcing the law.”
I always dreamt about my local Apple Store making headlines but not under these circumstances.