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Iran's Love Affair With the iPad

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US companies may be barred from doing business in Iran, but tech-happy Iranians have managed to get their hands on their favorite Apple products mere weeks after they're released.

"We had iPad in Tehran less than a month after it hit the global market," a shop owner named Bahman told Reuters. "It was the same for other American brands like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, BlackBerry or Motorola. People in Iran have a desire to move along with the world in using the latest electronic products -- even if some of their new features do not work here."

In fact, Iranians cannot, for example, download books to their Kindles. And Twitter works only when the government forgets to shut it down. But it's not enough to deter the citizenry from lusting after Cupertino's latest creations--which are generally shipped in from Dubai and are available at non-black market prices.

According to Reuters, iPads and iPhones cost roughly the same in Tehran as they do in Britain.

They're also just as easy to come by in Persia as they are in Paddington:

And it's not just iPads, it's, well, pretty much everything Apple makes:

Though, lo and behold, this "Apple store" isn't officially (or unofficially, for that matter) recognized by Apple itself:

Funny that these guys don't have a similar legal disclaimer on their site:

Guess it must be the real deal, huh? Weird that their Geek Squad looks so much different than ours:

Must be a trademark issue or something...
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