Big three Russian mobile phone carriers say ‘nyet’ to Apple’s iPhone

There’s good money to be made selling iPhones in Russia. It’s “a product with enough cachet among Russia’s nouveau riches that at one point last September a black market iPhone 5 could fetch $3,700 in Moscow or St. Petersburg,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“But 10 months later, there’s not an iPhone to be had at any of the big three carriers’ stores. Last week the last hold-out — VimpleCom, which sells phones under the Beeline brand — cut its ties with Apple and began offering its customers Samsung’s Galaxy S4 instead,” P.E.D. reports. “What happened? What makes Russia different from the rest of the world?”

P.E.D. reports, “Russia’s unique market dynamics have taken their toll. Microsoft’s share of the Russian smartphone market, for example, grew to 8.2% last quarter compared with 5.1% a year earlier, according to IDC. During the same period, Apple’s share dropped to 8.3% from 9%.”

Read more in the full article here.

60 Comments

    1. iPhone 5 in Apple Store Russia costs $918, while actual price has to be $649 + (5% import fee for cellular phones + 18% VAT = 23%) = $798.

      Where $120 go?

      1. It is actually quite easy to prove. Here are the 10 planks of Communism from the Communist Manifesto:

        1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.

        2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

        3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

        4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

        5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

        6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.

        7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

        8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

        9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

        10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

        1. Now you are in trouble. You don’t give facts to liberals. It makes their heads get fuzzy and hurt. Talk about feelings, and racism, how bad America is.

          You could have added that the Communist Party USA endorsed Obama for election. Which, sadly is a fact.

          1. Oh do shut up. You haven’t even gotten a toe hold with your baloney propaganda.

            I came here to read and talk about tech, not your desperately obtuse politics. And guess what: I’ve never been a fan of socialism. IOW: Just shut up until you can stay on topic.

            1. And I came here to encounter in search of intelligent life, but I found you instead. I am OK with that. Rocks have a place in the universe.

              You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

        2. You do realize that Russia never was a communist government correct?

          While Lenin attempted to implement Marx’s ideal, it was not possible to achieve an equal society. So a dictatorship was the evolution under Stalin. Please learn history…

          1. Totalitarianism is consistently the result of attempts to create ‘communism’. There is a small fraction of people who can sort of tolerate dire socialism. But Marx seriously screwed up when he thought up his rendition of communism. It has NEVER worked. I doubt it ever could as it is so contrary to human nature as well as deadly to the human creative spirit. IOW: ‘Real’ communism is a FRAUD.

          2. You do know of the “dictatorship of the proleteariat”, right? Well that is what Lenin did. Their is no Marxist utopia. It is bullshit to justify tyranny. That is what Lenin did and his structure survives today under Putin. Obama is not a utopian. He is a tyrant which is why he likes executive orders so much, like arbitrarily deciding to violate his own law, Obamacare and delaying its implementation for a year to reduce some of the awful consequences till after the next election. And ignoring the parts of the Constitution he does not like, like the 4th Amendment protection agains t unreasonable search and seizure. He has the NSA collecting every big of data generated by everyone on this site for use later as he sees fit, like by the IRS or DEA. This is what tyrants do, like Russia, which is where this all started.

            1. Kent if your brain was any smaller you’d be a pigeon.

              Obama didn’t direct the NSA to start this program, it started BEFORE he was in office.Prism started under Bush. Before that the NSA was tied into phones, before that they were tapped into telegrams. If it has wires, you can bet the NSA is trying to intercept it.

              The fact is that JFK was the last man to stand up to the psychopaths pulling the strings in this land. Clandestine forces have taken over and idiots like you want this to be a political matter, IT ISN’T.

              They have a brilliant strategy: divide and conquer and it is working like a champ. While gullible little partisans like you rail about the evil black man destroying America, we are fleeced, cataloged, spied upon and gamed.

              Time for you to face facts: Obama is controlled by the same powerful interests as your boy Bush was. Obama is a corporatist tool of the banking elite, just like Bush, Cheney, Clinton and Bush Sr. before him. They all fed the military industrial security complex.

              And just in case you missed it, the Republican in charge of the investigation (Daryl ISSA) has said point blank, the IRS actions were not partisan, were not directed by Obama.

            2. Hey, your brilliance, he has been PRESIDENT for five years. He said he would fix all the evils of Bush, Lille Guantanemo, Afghanistan, drone killing, Patriot Act, the deficit. He has doubled down on every one of these, you imbecile.

              If he wasn’t going to do anything but golf, and fly Air Force One, and party with JayZ, and stoke racial hatred, why did he run for President.

            3. It seems to me that our current president stokes irrational hatred from people because of the symbolism associated with him not of his own doing.
              Your earlier comment about Marx’s ideal being bullshit to cover totalitarianism is not correct.
              Communism, as written, is only viable on a small scale. Eg ‘a commune’. When to applied to a large diverse society it does not work.
              Similarly to a true democracy, Ala Ancient Greece, will not work in a large society.
              In the roman model, on which the US is based, is a republic. A republic in theory provides the best balance for the people while allowing there to be institutions of government to keep things running.
              Most current western governments, are a blend of a republic, or constitutional monarchy, and some form of socialism for social programs.
              A social democracy in other words. This is not a bad thing. There are problems, however so far it seems to work the best.

            4. Oh and btw, prism started in 2005. He was not president then.

              Aren’t you the same person who also insisted that GM wasn’t making a product even though they are?

            5. Shitforbrains – Obama has had five years to end PRISM but he has expanded it. He has had five years to improve the economy but he has killed it. He has had five years to reduce the deficit but he has almost doubled it. He has had five years to get our troops out of Afghanistan but there are more deaths there now than under Bush. He is a lying sack of excrement. But you don’t care cause you voted for him.

            6. For your information jackass. Im a republican. But I am not a right wing nut job.

              The problem with you is that you’re listening to heritage foundation talking points which are promoted ad naseum on Fox News.
              The president does not direct the NSA. Nor does the president direct the CIA or the FBI. They run themselves, have they gotten out of control? Probably. You know why? Bc the patriot act grants them broad powers. Until it is repealed, these programs will not stop, and who passd that? Congresswb.
              Congress can repeal that, and they should. It is a gross violation of our civil liberties.
              No matter who the president is, they cannot override congress very easily.
              Imy voting record is none of your business either. But so you know,
              1996 bill clinton, 2000, no one. 2004, no one, 2008 John McCain, 2012, no one.

      1. I know I am correct. It is not hard. You can read Obamas pathetic autobiographies and he essentially tells this. When your best buddies are Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright you can safely assume that Karl Marx would be on the speed dial list if he were still alive. I don’t why these people object. Most of them have Che posters on their walls.

            1. Look me up on the net little anonymous coward troll. You and the NSA will find I’ve been pointing out the UNCONSTITUTIONAL nature of blanket surveillance of US citizens on US soil. Or to put it into a nice package for your self-destructive little mind: I’d enjoy seeing justice done to both GW Bush and Obama for illegal surveillance of US citizens. Did I blow your little mind? I want them BOTH in jail. A plague upon both their parties.

              Now run along!

        1. Glen Beck called, he would like his talking points back and he would like you to drop off some more tin-foil, he is having a hard time covering his whole head.

    1. Jeezus H Freaking Christ! Would you either stay on topic or leave? Your post has absolutely no relevance and is the worst kind of flame bait – unoriginal and narcissistic. Go post on politicaltourettes.com.

  1. For a tiny 4″ phone the iPhone is too fricking expensive. Either increase the screen size or drop the price to $450 or do both and bring out a cheaper iPhone and a bigger iPhone. Not complicated really. Only the retards at Apple can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    1. “retards” eh? You need some serious re-education, sir (or madam). Write again when the PC crowd takes your Crayons away and gives you back your Android device. What a serious maroon (with apologies to Bugs Bunny)!

    2. ” For a tiny 4″ phone the iPhone is too fricking expensive…”

      Don’t agree at all. I was commuting in today next to someone with an enormous Android. It was ridiculous. It was also very impractical, as she couldn’t operate it one-handed, so she couldn’t hold onto the handrail & kept sliding all over the place.

      Android phones are too freaking big.

  2. I live in Bangkok and had to replace a stolen iPhone so I did what most people in Bangkok do when they need an iPhone and went to MBK, a huge market/mall/bazaar, and bought an unlocked iPhone 4S. I had to wait 20 minutes while the person in front of me bought 7 iPhone 5. Apparently someone in Russia still wants iPhones.

  3. Too bad to lose you as an iPhone customer, “too fricking stupid”. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass (or in your diminutive pecker for that matter). Clearly, your brains can’t take any more damage, wherever they’re located.

  4. Whats the big deal? There must be a carrier like T-mobile that can make iPhone work there. If people wanna pay big bucks to buy it, great. No need to talk shit about Russia or communist and all that crab. Communist China is now ranking #2 economic power and soon to catch up to #1 and China has the biggest cell phone market. Oh, forgot to mentioned, I’ve been using Apple product since 90’s so please don’t bash me!

  5. From BGR.com

    It is perhaps worth noting that VimpelCom really is a powerhouse carrier — it is the sixth largest mobile operator in the world, with a substantial presence in Russia, Italy, Canada, Ukraine, Pakistan and more. Put another way, it’s perhaps not the right kind of customer to tick off. MTS is no minnow, either, since it has more than 100 million subscribers and dominates the Central and Eastern European markets. Together, Vimpelcom and MTS count more than 300 million subscribers.

  6. That’s just too bad.
    Maybe they should offer their costumers what they want. But I guess carriers are more interested in cheap easy money, spend less on phones, than long term success and costumers satisfaction. Perhaps they will reverse their decision in the future.

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