Apple calls new Russian smartphone sales legislation ‘equivalent to jailbreaking’

Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed new legislation requiring all smartphones, computers, and smart TVs sold in the country to come pre-installed with certain Russian software.

Tim Hardwick for MacRumors:

Electronic retailers have already criticized the law, which is due to come into force on July 1 next year, and say the legislation was adopted without consulting them. The law has also sparked fears that Russia could use the pre-installed apps as a way to spy on its citizens.

Responding to today’s news of the law, an unnamed Apple source reportedly told the Kommersant business daily: “A mandate to add third-party applications to Apple’s ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking. It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk.”

According to The Moscow Times, the government will draw up a list of software which tech companies will need to pre-install, and a list of the devices covered by the law, expected to include computers, tablets and smart TVs alongside mobile phones.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like Putin is pouring the foundation for The Great Firewall of Russia. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple handles this one.


    1. Since Apple does not have a monopoly, its smartphones might be not included in the list of devices that should follow this law. So, in the end, the situation will be no different from EU’s Google anti-trust case which has forced Google to install competing software.

      1. And I’m unaware that the EU did that to Google, but good for them if they did. Installing competing software is installing choice. That’s not quite censorship.

        So I guess you’re right. Russia is not the censor, Apple is.

    2. My guess is they will “put up” with it as already practiced in China. Cook will not risk losing billions on freedom principles that only apply in the USA. The hypocrisy continues…

  1. So the industry should pull its products off Russian shelves. Consumers should boycott anyone who continues to sell tech to Russia, block Russian traffic on the Internet, and make sure the public truly understands what is happening here before the U.S. tries something similar.

    1. No chance as the companies would not want to lose dozens of billion of USDs in sales because of this. Besides, no good will happen in Russia will also pull its products — things from specific titanium alloys to sapphire to space engines that Russia sells to the USA are, of course, replaceable, but it will cost a lot of money in losses as well as time to replace it. Chinese companies will grow even much stronger, fully acquiring Russian electronics market (the biggest in Europe). All kinds of bans are harmful both ways.

    1. Your assertion betrays a very CNN view of the world.

      Republicans do not “support” Russia. I think you have the lies told by Democrats about Russian collusion with the Trump administration and tampering with the 2016 election confused with Republicans liking Russians. All through the Obama administration Republican warned of Russia reasserting itself on the global stage. Obama was too busy pumping life into ISIS.

      Democrats have been portraying themselves as hardline conservatives where Russia is concerned, but what it really is, is nothing more than an opportunity to attempt to smear the President, as well as protect their Automatic Teller Machine aka The Ukraine.

      You might want to take a look at this list:

      51 Policy actions the Trump Administration has taken against RUSSIA.

    2. “The Clinton Foundation donations involve nine people related to a 2007 deal between Clinton Foundation board member Frank Giustra’s company and Uranium One, a Canadian mining company. In 2009, Russia’s nuclear energy agency bought a 17% share of Uranium One. A year later, it bought enough shares to give it a 51% stake.” from the Politifact site;

      HOWEVER: Poltfact in its article fell all over itself by trying to say that even though the money came from a Clinton Foundation board member, that there was therefore no connection to the Clintons!

      Only a member of the political sub-species could believe that!

    1. 2B is chump change to apple, so here, I think they can afford to do the right thing and be virtous. The problem with China isnt only it’s a large, market. That would hurt, but not really be fatal to apple to forgo it. The problem is their products are all made there or places where China controls the production, and apple has no alternative.

      Cook has simply done an awful job of not diversifying apple’s production out of that hostile communist state. Thankfully he has started with some production in India, but he really should have several places around the world, the US being one of them, producing apple’s products. Then, you can tell China to go to hell when it wants apple to do bad things. Right now, apple basically has no choice but to comply with china’s horrendous policies… and it has plenty of choice not to play ball with russia because apple doesnt produce anything there.

      Apple should equally free itself on its production dependance in china.

      1. The only “hostile” thing about the situation with China is neocolonial, militaristic bipartisan neolib/neocon unholy union which brainwashes the country by its fear mongering to steal even more of taxpayer’s money on giant, overblown privatized security/military industrial complex.

        There are zero reasons for the hostility with China. As well as Russia, for that matter. None of these countries are about to invade Texas or something, so the whole “enemy” thing is completely manufactured.

  2. 1984 . . . George Orwell . . . The Russian government will have the ability to monitor every phone — everywhere . . . If a dissident is sitting in a coffee shop, the government can tap into a dozen cameras and microphones on nearby cell phones and monitor the conversations.

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