Russian Online Store back for business with pricier products

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2014

After being offline for six days straight, the Russia Online Apple Store went back online Monday with expectedly higher price points for the latest iPhones and other products as a direct result of the country’s collapsing ruble currency.

The latest iPhone 6, for example, is now a whopping 54 percent pricier compared to Apple’s previous asking prices before the store went offline and will now set would-be shoppers 53,990 rubles for an entry-level model with sixteen gigabytes of storage, which works out to about $984 off-contract and excluding taxes. Read More


Apps get pricier in Russia over collapsing ruble

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

Apple is increasing App Store prices in Russia over the plummeting ruble, the basic monetary unit of the 145 million people country and some other former republics of the USSR, reports 9to5Mac.

So after halting online sales due to the fluctuating currency, now Apple’s virtual store is feeling the repercussions of Russia’s troubled economy.

Russian ruble, and consequentially the country’s economy as a whole, have stagnated for months now due to the falling price of oil and economic sanctions imposed by EU and USA over President Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Read More


Apple halts online sales in Russia due to ‘extreme’ currency fluctuations

By Cody Lee on Dec 16, 2014

Apple has halted all online sales in Russia this morning, due to “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s ruble currency, reports Bloomberg. Spokesman Alan Hely told the outlet that the company has decided to shutter the store while it “reviews pricing,” and it “apologizes to customers for any inconvenience.”

The Russian economy has been in trouble for months, but things have gotten significantly worse in recent days due in large part to the falling price of oil and economic sanctions. The ruble has plummeted a staggering 19% within the last 24 hours—the worst single day drop for the currency in the last 16 years. Read More


Russia asks Apple for source code to alleviate espionage concerns

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2014

Russia’s Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has suggested that Apple, along with German tech giant SAP, open the source code for its software to ensure that it’s not enabling US intelligence agencies to spy on the country.

The request comes just a week after a security researcher accused Apple of building surveillance backdoors into iOS, and as the United States and Europe expand their sanctions on Moscow over Russia’s involvement in Ukraine affairs… Read More


iCloud hackers who held iOS devices ransom detained in Russia

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 9, 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Russian authorities have detained two young hackers for hijacking iOS devices through iCloud and holding them ransom for payment. The suspects, both residents of the Southern Administrative District of Moscow, are a 23-year-old named Ivan and an unnamed 17-year-old that served as his accomplice.

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs announced on Monday that the hackers were detained during the course of “operational activities” by the Russian Interior Ministry. The hackers were caught on closed-caption TV after attempting to withdraw ransom payment from an ATM machine. The ministry also noted that one of the suspects has already been tried before…  Read More


Apple partner claims iPhone 6 heading for Russia in September

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2014

Apple’s business partner in Russia has just blurbed out that the next-generation iPhone – the iPhone 6, if you will – is scheduled to become available in the 144 million people market this September.

Proceed with caution: we’re having a hard time believing a third-party retailer would be privy to such a crucial piece of information.

For all we know, this guy could be looking for free press or could be taking us for a ride. On the other hand, we’ve heard about a September launch before.

For instance, Japan’s Nikkei agency last week said that a 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone are due as early as September of this year, a notion echoed previously by the credulous Wall Street Journal, a few analysts and other sources.

Also, the September timeframe does coincide nicely with Apple’s Fall release schedule for iPhones established since the iPhone 4s’s release back in 2011… Read More


Russian government dumps iPads for Samsung tablets

By Cody Lee on Mar 27, 2014

Russia’s telecoms minister Nikolai Nikiforov told news agencies yesterday that government officials for the country recently traded in their iPads for Samsung tablets. Reporters spotted the new devices at a cabinet meeting, and the minister explained that the changeover was due to security concerns.

“Some of the information at government meetings is confidential in nature,” he said, “and these devices fully meet these demands and have gone through the strictest system of certification.” And the timing of the switch is certainly interesting, considering what’s going on at the Russia/Ukraine borderRead More


Russia’s second-largest carrier now resuming iPhone sales after 3-year hiatus

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2014

Good news for Apple fans in Russia: the country’s second-largest wireless carrier has now resumed iPhone sales in the 143 million people market. MegaFon stopped selling the iconic smartphone three years ago, in 2010, citing Apple’s rather stringent sales policy and volume requirements.

The company hadn’t offered the device for three years. Fortunately, the two sides have now come to senses as Apple appears to have softened its stance after seeing its smartphone share in Russia drop to single-digits… Read More


Apple’s Russia push slowed by pricey iPhones

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 25, 2013

Although Apple today launched the iPhone in an additional 35 global markets (with more to come next Friday), including Russia, its flagship iPhone 5s remains too expensive for all but the most wealthiest. The iPhone 5c, costing just $99 in subsidized markets such as the U.S., can cost nearly $800 in Russia, unsubsidized.

Apple’s goal of competing globally is being hampered by pricing centered on carrier subsidies. In countries such as Russia, India and elsewhere where subsidies are not allowed, the cost of an iPhone can equal a month’s salary – or more. As a result, Samsung’s cheaper Android phones control most smartphone sales… Read More


Russian carriers that dropped Apple in 2012 now want it back

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 23, 2013

Two of the three Russian carriers that dropped the iPhone in 2012 now want it back. MTS and Vimplecom announced Tuesday they will begin selling Apple’s new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s starting Friday.

Vimplecom (which owns Russia’s No. 3 carrier Beeline) said it signed a contract with Apple for the new handsets. MTS, on the other hand, will use a distributor to get the smartphones. Both Vimplecom and MTS stopped iPhone sales last year, complaining Apple’s stringent contracts created “harsh conditions”Read More


Apple execs take a trip to Russia to improve iPhone distribution in the country

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2013

There’s a trouble in Russia so Apple dispatched its high-ranked executives to revisit how the company sells iPhones in the country, according to a new report. There’s no denying that Apple has dropped the ball in the important 143 million people market. As we told you recently, the last of Russia’s big-three carriers stopped selling the iPhone.

Russian carriers complain about too onerous conditions, leaving it up to resellers and Apple’s new Russia online store to meet demand. With the new iPhones now looming on the horizon, Apple is now reportedly re-thinking its strategy in the country. That’s good news because Russia is part of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), a group of emerging markets that are expected to overtake the United States as the world’s top smartphone sellers by 2018… Read More


Here’s why Apple dropped the ball in Russia

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 16, 2013

Russia is one of the BRIC countries mentioned alongside Brazil, India and China as areas where demand for smartphones is increasing rapidly. Yet, recently, the last of Russia’s big-three carriers stopped selling the iPhone, leaving it up to resellers and Apple’s new online store to meet demand.

Why are Russian carriers saying no to the iconic handset – and adopting competitors, such as Samsung and Microsoft? The answer could be as simple as 1-2-3… Read More


Russia’s #3 carrier Beeline drops iPhone over ‘harsh conditions’

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2013

Looks like Apple’s just been dealt a major blow over in Russia as another carrier reportedly quit selling iPhones. Vimplecom-owned Beeline, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, has allegedly cut its ties with Apple. The firm will not renew its iPhone distribution agreement over too “harsh conditions”, the story goes.

While the move doesn’t mean the iPhone isn’t popular in the country (just ask the local elite and celebrities), it does leave Apple without a major carrier presence there. Russia’s two biggest carriers MTS and Megafon stopped selling the handset earlier.

Both telcos criticized Apple’s demanding requirements: committing to large-volume purchases, generous subsidies and advance payment… Read More


BRIC nations to overtake US as top smartphone markets by 2018

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 2, 2013

So-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are set to dominate smartphone market share by 2018, comprising four of the top seven markets, according to research released Tuesday. As a result, smartphone shipments to the US and Western Europe are forecast to drop to 33 percent of the smartphone market share, down from the current 39 percent.

At the same time, the top five countries in 2018 will account for just over half – 51 percent – of smartphone shipments globally. BRIC nations will account for a third of the shipments, according to ABI Research. The changing landscape means smartphone makers will need to keep pace… Read More


Apple launches online retail store in Russia

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2013

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… Read More


Apple TV hack enables Russian video service, no jailbreak required

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2013

Remember a recent hack which cleverly tricks Apple TV’s stock Trailers app into streaming video from the popular Plex media player, no jailbreak required? Apparently, the same trickery can be exploited in order to enable access to certain online video services. A Russian blog today spread word of a very similar hack that lets owners of the second and third-generation Apple TV stream content from Russia’s UnliMovie digital TV service, directly through the set-top box’s Trailers app… Read More


Apple replaces Google with Yandex on Safari in iOS 7 in several countries

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 11, 2013

When Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue during yesterday’s keynote said that Siri in iOS 7 will integrate Bing web search results, everyone went silent. While Google is still the default search engine in Safari, Apple will pre-install the Yandex search engine in Russia and several other countries, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday. The development could signal Apple’s intention to gradually distance itself from Google search… Read More


Apple allegedly files for iWatch trademark in Russia

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 5, 2013

Apple reportedly has filed in Russia to trademark ‘iWatch’, the supposed name of the rumored wearable computing device. However, some in the tech media are skeptical, suggesting the report in a Russian newspaper follows none of Apple’s usual steps preceding a product launch, such as in the case of the iPad.

The newspaper Izvestia this week reported Apple filed for the trademark under the 9th and 14th classes of the International Classification of Goods and Services. The report asserts Apple could face competition from similar local products. However, one Apple blogs has failed to find the trademark registered with the official Russian Federal Services for Intellectual Property… Read More


2-step Apple ID verification rolls out in more countries

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2013

Following a major security vulnerability that let attackers reset your Apple ID password using only your email address and date of birth, Apple responded in March by fixing the iForgot hole and bolstering Apple ID account security with an optional new two-step verification process for Apple ID accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Today, the company has started to roll out the feature to nearly a dozen additional countries, including Canada, Russia and Brazil… Read More


Russian Railways sues Apple over trademark infringement

By Cody Lee on Jan 15, 2013

I don’t know what it is with Apple and European railways, but another one has taken up a beef with the Cupertino company. Today, Russian Railways announced that it has issued a trademark infringement suit against Apple.

The reason behind the lawsuit is still not entirely clear, but it looks like it has something to do with third-party apps in the App Store that use RZD’s (that’s the abbreviation for Russian Railways) logo without permission… Read More

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