I’m a few days behind on this one, but FP Passport has a link to a new announcement for a new application that “will allow users in Iran to download and send content to [Voice of America]’s Persian News Network with their iPhones.”
I don’t really have much to add beyond what David Kenner aptly wrote:
I’m sure that this initiative was begun with the best of intentions. However, there’s only one problem — oh, who am I kidding, there are a whole slew of problems. To begin with, a normal iPhone won’t work in Iran: AT&T, the only carrier for the iPhone, doesn’t provide service in the country. The very wealthy have been able to get their hands on “unlocked” iPhones, which can be used with any carrier in Iran. However, the number of these phones in Iran are few and far between. But even for those with unlocked iPhones, there is no data network in Iran that would allow them to connect to the Internet.
Our intrepid Iranian friend, therefore, would also have to be in an area where he could pick up a wireless connection with his iPhone. At that point, of course, he could also send his video and pictures using more old-fashioned technology — for example, a laptop.
To be fair, though, I did use my unlocked iPhone when I was in Iran in March 2008. I also was able to use an Internet connection on my phone with Irancell — however, the only web page that I could consistently load was nytimes.com