Turkish President Calls for a Boycott of Apple and All U.S. Devices

Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan Vestel Credit: Live UA Map
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Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is calling for the country to boycott Apple products and other U.S. technology in the midst of rising tensions between the two nations.

“Every product that we buy in foreign currency from outside, we will produce them here and sell abroad,” Erdo?an said during a speech. “We will boycott the electronic products of the U.S.”

In his announcement, Erdo?an specifically called out the iPhone and offered alternatives made by Apple’s rivals or by Turkey-based smartphone manufacturers such as Vestel — which produces the Venus lineup of smartphones that have little recognition in other markets.

“If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side,” Erdo?an said. “And we have our own telephone brands. We are going to produce enough for ourselves. We have to serve better goods than we are importing from them.”

Erdogan Iphone 1
Recep Tayyip Erdo?an using an iPhone. Image via World Trending

Vestel is a technology giant in Turkey, TheNextWeb points out, but its market share in the country still pales in comparison to Apple. According to data collected by Statcounter, only around 2 percent of smartphone owners in Turkey used a Vestel device in December, while 17.41 percent used iPhones.

The announcement comes in the wake of Turkey’s currency, the Lira, falling to record lows. It also follows a slew of new tariffs placed on Turkey by the Trump administration, NPR reported. That likely served as a catalyst for the U.S. product boycotts.

Tensions in the two countries began when an American pastor was detained after being accused of terrorism and espionage in Turkey.

It’s worth noting that a boycott of U.S.-produced technology may be hard to pull off in practice. While a country could theoretically boycott Apple products, it’s much harder to do so for much of the internal components or technology that powers modern smartphones.

That fact is demonstrated by China-based OEM ZTE. Earlier this year, the manufacturer was barred from using U.S. technology in its own devices. Without Google-made Android or Qualcomm-produced chips, ZTE was forced to cease operations shortly after the ban.

Apple is also unlikely to be significantly impacted by any boycott in Turkey. By Statcounter’s data, an estimated 7.15 million Turkish smartphone owners used Apple products. That’s a little over 1 percent of the more than 700 million iPhones currently being used across the globe.

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