Looks like Santa Claus won’t be bringing Apple treats to the children of Russia this Christmas
Apple has halted all online sales in Russia over fears that the country’s currency has become increasingly unstable.
In the face of global worries over the ruble, which lost more than19 percent of its value overnight, the iPhone and iPad maker told Bloomberg that it has now stopped all sales through its web store.
“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Apple spokesperson Alan Hely wrote in an e-mail. “We apologise to customers for any inconvenience.”
The company did not provide any indication of when the site might return, leaving Russian shoppers keen to get their hands on Apple devices having to go through third-party retailers, as it has no physical stores in the country.
Apple had previously indicated that Russia was a key market for its devices, and offered its products at lower prices than many other European nations, leading to a rush of tourists buying cheaper mobiles or tablets in the country. However last month, Apple increased the price of the iPhone 6 in Russia by 25 percent, as worries over the ruble first began to surface.
However the news may not be as damaging as it seems for Apple. Russia is one of the world’s fastest developing mobile markets, offering a potentially huge customer base, but Apple only sold around 1.6 million phone in the country throughout the whole of 2013 (compared to more than 153 million sold worldwide) according to figures from analyst firm IDC.
The firm also suffered somewhat of a knockback earlier this year, when a Russian minister proposed that the tech giant reveal its source code to the country’s government in order to allay fears that it was spying for the US government.
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