The iPhone and iPad maker stopped sales from its Web store as Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem a run on the currency. The ruble briefly sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled.
“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, wrote in an e-mail today. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”
“Anything you earn there now in rubles is going to be coming back to dollars or into euros at very depressed rates, so the bottom line for tech vendors right now should wisely be pulling back from Russia as Apple has done,” said Andrew Bartels, an analyst at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research Inc.
Apple had previously tried to work around the ruble's fluctuations by increasing the price of the iPhone 6 by 25%. Apple doesn't have any stores in the country but some Russian carriers and retailers do sell their products.
Last year Apple sold 1.57 million iPhones in Russia bringing in around $1 billion. That means the country accounted for around 1% of its units sold.
Currently, the online Apple Store in Russia displays a message saying, "We'll be back. We're busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon."
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