It’s been nearly a year since we heard of Apple’s plans to begin direct sales in Russia, and this week it’s finally putting that plan into action. The company has opened a web store in the country, allowing consumers to order iPhones, iPads and more.
Believe it or not, this is actually the first time that folks in Russia will be able to order products directly from Apple. Previously, the company’s devices were only available via third-party retailers, as it doesn’t have any physical stores in the country…
The opening of the store—first spotted by ifostore—is significant because it marks Apple’s first retail presence in a major emerging market. Russia is home to more than 140 million people, making it one of the top 10 most populated countries in the world.
Apple has been interested in the land for quite some time now. Evidence first starting showing up in August of last year, when it registered a new distribution arm in the country called ‘Apple Rus.’ And shortly after it launched its iTunes Store there.
Now that it has a live web store in Russia, pundits expect that brick and mortar retail stores won’t be far behind. And the timing couldn’t be better. Apple is believed to be launching a slew of new products this fall, including multiple new handsets.