Two days after Turkey's Apple boycott, smashed iPhones and enforcement questions

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A video shows people in Turkey smashing iPhones — one of which rang anyway — as the world reacts to Erdogan's boycott of American electronics products.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan announced a boycott of American electronics, one specifically targeted at iPhones and other Apple products. "We will impose a boycott on U.S. electronic products," the president said. "If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side, and we have our own Vestel here." Erdoan launched the boycott just two years after he famously used FaceTime on an iPhone while beating back a coup attempt.

Two days after the announcement, it remains very much unclear exactly how the boycott will work, how far it will go, or how it will be enforced. Turkey could close the Apple Stores in Istanbul, they could ban imports of the products, or they could simply ban their sale, but the governmnet hasn't announced whether it will do any of those things.

And that's to say nothing of the question of whether the boycott would extend to software, parts, or internal components from U.S. companies. That would disqualify any device with Intel or Qualcomm chips or modems, not to mention Google operating systems.

But the term "boycott" isn't normally used in relation to government bans; it implies more that Erdogan is simply asking his countrymen to refrain from buying iPhones and to instead choose devices from Samsung or the Turkish brand Vestel Venus. It's akin to if President Trump told his supporters not to read the New York Times or watch the NFL — hurtful to the product, yes, but not an outright government banishment.

And even if supporters of Erdogan go along, opponents of the current regime may very well not.

Of course, it appears some in Turkey are taking matters into their own hands. Turks have gone to social media to post videos of themselves smashing their iPhones. Here, via EHA News, is one video where that happens- and at the end, one of the phones rings anyway:

As with many social media trends, it's far from established that the iPhone-smashings are an authentic real-world phenomenon that's been happening in any significant number.


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