Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan announced today that the country would boycott all electronics from the United States after President Donald Trump slapped new tariffs on the region that caused the Turkish currency (the lira) to hit an all-time low.
The announcement, which specifically targeted Apple, comes amid rising trade tensions between the two countries (and leaders), but it will barely touch the tech giant.
“If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side. We have Vestel Venuüs in our country,” Erdogan said, referencing a Turkey-based smartphone manufacturer during the announcement to members of his national conservative Justice and Development Party.
“Together with our people, we will stand decisively against the dollar, forex prices, inflation and interest rates. We will protect our economic independence by being tight-knit together.”
The problem with Erdogan’s new strategy is that it will have a much greater effect on the Turkish people than any U.S. company. In other words, Turkey relies on Apple more than Apple relies on Turkey.
Only 2.08 percent of Turkish smartphone users owned a Vestel last December, while 17.41 percent owned Apple iPhones.
That means of the 41.09 million projected smartphone users in Turkey last year, 7.15 million of them used Apple, which is only 1.02 percent of the conservative estimate of more than 700 million iPhone users in the world.
Putting that into context, that means there are more than 8.5 times more iPhone users worldwide than there are people in Turkey.
The U.S. and China comprise Apple’s two biggest markets, so this would be a much bigger deal — for both Apple and America — if this electronics ban came from China. Of course, the U.S. is also feuding with over trade, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.