updated 08:10 pm EST, Fri December 30, 2011
High plausibility and local customs fooled others
A story that MacNN and most other tech-news sites carried a few days ago about a government ban on iPhones and Blackberry models in Argentina may be plausible, but is at present not true, reader reports suggest. The government has been known to engage in such tactics to try and strongarm more manufacturing in the country, but has not at present barred sales of the affected electronic devices, suggesting that the original source story was just a plausible prank.
The portion of the MacNN report that mentioned extra taxes on imported electronics and the revoking of "automatic" import status for companies that don't have manufacturing facilities in Argentina, the latter of which the government imposed last March, is accurate. Argentinian and other South American readers who contacted MacNN have said the ban as reported is not outside the realm of future possibility, but that the source report (from a news site that specializes in providing access to online electronics manuals) ran just before "El Día de los Santos Inocentes," or "Holy Innocents Day," a custom in many Spanish-speaking countries equivalent to April Fool's Day.
Even other Spanish-language news sites were fooled by the prank, for example mobile news site MovilArena, which subsequently ran a correction. In light of the ongoing advertising of the available iPhone models on Apple's Argentina web site, the fact that RIM indeed has manufacturing facilities in the country (which would have allowed it to escape any such ban) and reader reports, MacNN retracts its original report and regrets the error.