“After years of wooing, Russian mobile carriers are finally coming around to the iPhone — not that they have much choice,” Ilya Khrennikov reports for Bloomberg. “iPhone sales in the country doubled last year to 1.57 million, bringing in $1 billion, according to researcher IDC. That’s despite the fact that at midyear, none of Russia’s top three wireless carriers were selling Apple’s phones.”
“Apple wanted carriers in Russia to cover the costs of subsidizing and promoting the iPhone, like they do in the U.S. and other developed markets. However, Russia has laws preventing phone companies from discounting devices in exchange for longer contracts,” Khrennikov reports. “So Apple went around the phone companies by distributing iPhones through electronics stores such as Svyaznoy. That chain probably sold about 700,000 Apple phones last year, with most of them being the older iPhone 4 and 4s models priced below $500, said Eldar Murtazin, an independent analyst in Russia.”
Khrennikov reports, “Apple’s plan B did the trick. Carriers have begun restoring ties with Apple in the past few months. MegaFon resumed its contract to sell iPhones last month after a three-year hiatus. Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom brought iPhones back to their shelves in October.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Fake iPhones can’t cut it. Quality customers will go elsewhere. Real carriers offer Apple iPhones.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “David E.” and “steve h.” for the heads up.]
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MegaFon to sell Apple iPhone in Russia – September 2, 2008
Vimpelcom inks deal with Apple to sell iPhone 3G in Russia – August 28, 2008