Apple Shuts Down Russian E-Sales Due to Ruble

Apple took the unusual move Tuesday (Nov. 16) of shutting down all of its online sales in Russia due to what Apple said were “extreme” ruble fluctuations, Bloomberg reported.

Those fluctuations cost the ruble as much as 19 percent of its value Tuesday.

“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 statement, Bloomberg said. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

One Forrester Researcher analyst said Apple was making the right move. “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 Forrester Analyst Andrew Bartels.

Although Tuesday’s move was the most significant, Apple has dealt with ruble value fluctuations before. “Last month, the company increased the price of the iPhone 6 by 25 percent in Russia. The online store is Apple’s main direct interface with Russian consumers,” Bloomberg noted. “While Apple sells smartphones and tablets through some Russian carriers and retailers, the company doesn’t have any of its own stores in the country.”


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