Russia

Spotify could finally turn a profit in 2017, expand to China, Russia & South Korea

Apple Music rival Spotify could finally turn a profit in 2107, one of its board members told the media Thursday. Asked if the Swedish music service could become profitable soon, Par-Jorgen Parson, one of Spotify’s first investors, told Reuters that it was “absolutely” the case.

Spotify currently operates in 60 markets and has more than 40 million paid subscribers. Apple Music is available in 115 markets and has 17 million paying customers and over 30 million songs in its catalog.

Apple Pay launches in Russia

Apple’s mobile payments service has officially launched in Russia, marking the tenth country where Apple Pay is now available. According to Reuters this morning, the service is available with support from MasterCard and Moscow-based Sberbank at launch. Users can add their credit or debit card to Apple Pay via the Wallet app on their iPhone or set up Apple Pay directly in the Sberbank Online mobile app.

Apple may be forced to open a center for iOS device repair in Russia to avoid lawsuits

Following a lawsuit filed against Apple last June by iPhone owner Dmitry Petrov, which alleged that the Cupertino firm had failed to provide proper product support in Russia because its resellers and chain stores lacked the proper equipment to repair smashed displays, Apple could reportedly be planning to open a full-fledged center for iOS device repairs in the country to avoid future lawsuits.

It is not known when Apple’s centralized repair center will open, but it will reportedly be “big and expensive”. According to a report by The Moscow Times, one unidentified employee of an Apple partnership corporation told Vedomosti that “he believes it will cost between $1 and $2 million.”

Apple launches carrier billing in Russia with Beeline

As it turns out, Apple has finally begun rolling out a new carrier billing option in emerging markets, starting with Russia. TechCrunch reported yesterday that Beeline, a mobile carrier in Russia, has now turned on the ability to make payments in iTunes through their billing system.

Carrier billing joins existing payment methods accepted on the App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store and was designed to allow customers to have app and media purchases and Apple Music subscriptions charged to their monthly mobile phone bill, or deducted from their prepaid amount.

Apple Watch goes on sale in New Zealand, Russia and Turkey

Earlier this morning at 7:01am local time, Apple’s wrist-worn device went on sale in three new markets: New Zealand, Russia and Turkey. The Apple Watch is available through the Apple Online Store in New Zealand, Russia and Turkey, in addition to select non-Apple locations.

In Turkey, for example, the device is also available via company-woned brick-and-mortar stores at the Zorlu Center and Akasya Shopping Center in Istanbul. In Russia, the Apple Watch is available for walk-in customers at iPort, Re:Store and C-store outlets. And in New Zealand, the Apple Watch can be purchased in select Apple Stores.