Russian government drops iPad in favor of Samsung tablets over spying fears

ipad-4th-128gb-lte-ebay

Russian government officials have stopped using iPads in an official capacity, instead opting to use offerings from Samsung according to a new report by Business Insider. The new Samsung devices are custom, secured tablets designed to be used with the confidential information government officials often need to handle.

Russian officials have denied that the swap is an effort to stop supporting American companies following sanctions related to the Ukrainian crisis. It also doesn’t seem to relate to recent rumors that the US government had backdoor access to Apple’s iOS devices—a claim Apple has denied.

Read more

Apple’s iBooks Textbooks & iTunes U Course Manager hit new markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe

iTunes U, Text Books

Update: Apple says iBooks Textbooks are available in all countries with a paid iBooks store and that a full updated list of countries with access to iTunes U Course Manager can be found on its enrollment website.

Apple just put out a press release announcing that it’s expanding availability of its educational content– iBooks Textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager– into new international markets. Starting today, both of the services are rolling out to new countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, bringing the total number of countries with textbooks up to 51 and the total number with access to the iTunes U Course Manager to 70. Apple also shared some stats on the growth of iBooks Textbooks, which now cover 100 percent of the US high school core curriculum: Read more

Beeline becomes third Russian carrier to drop iPhone

BeeLine_logo

A report by Hi-Tech Mail (via PhoneArena) indicates that the Russian cellular carrier Beeline (through parent company VimpelCom) has decided against renewing its contract with Apple, making it the last of the country’s three major iPhone carriers to do so. Beeline has made a deal to offer Samsung devices on their network in place of Apple’s smartphone.

Read more

Apple Online Store opens in Russia, establishes direct sales in key emerging market

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 11.15.03 PM

Today, Apple has finally launched a version of its official online store for customers in Russia. The online store is similar in style to Apple’s online stores in other countries. Customers in Russia are now able to order iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macs, accessories, and more directly from Apple to their homes. Apple is celebrating the launch by taking up Apple Russia’s homepage to announce the new store (image above)…

Read more

Apple holding iTunes event in Moscow, Russia tomorrow evening

russian-gift-card-iphonesru-333x500Update: Apple has now confirmed that the iPhone 5 will launch in Russia on December 14. iPhones.ru posted images of the Russian iTunes gift cards pictured right.

Hot off the heels of the iTunes 11 launch last week, Russia looks to be gaining the service very soon. According to a forwarded invite obtained by TechCrunch, Apple is holding a small iTunes event at the local GUM shopping center in Moscow’s Red Square tomorrow evening. Rumors of the launch have been ongoing for a few months, as App Store users in the country were beginning to see music searches appear at very low prices.

According to a November report by Russian language publication vedomosti.ru, citing industry sources, Apple will sell songs cheaper in Russia for 11- to 20 rubles each, which translates to roughly 35- to 65 cents USD. Additionally, another report from Vedomosti claimed iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King went to Russia for the launch originally scheduled for Nov. 20. However, in November, the newspaper also cited sources close to Apple as saying the launch is now scheduled for the first week of December—possibly to coincide with the launch of iPhone 5 in the country. Today’s event invite seems to confirm at least the iTunes bit. We are working to gain more information. [TechCrunch]

Read more

Russian iTunes Music begins showing up on the App Store at very low prices

Update, Nov 2o: RIA Novosti reported today, citing sources familiar with Apple’s product plans in Russia, that iTunes music in the country could be “delayed indefinitely” as Apple runs into issues getting necessary licensing from artists. Another report from Vedomosti claimed  iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King went to Russia for the launch originally scheduled for November 20. The newspaper also cited sources close to Apple as saying the launch is now scheduled for the first week of December, possibly to coincide with the launch of iPhone 5 in the country.

In September, a report from Russian language publication vedomosti.ru cited industry sources and noted Apple was preparing to launch iTunes music in Russia by the end of year. The report also noted that songs would be sold for less than their 99-cent U.S. counterparts, somewhere between 11- to 20 rubles each (roughly 35- to 65 cents USD). It appears Apple is getting ready to launch the service today, with several Russian readers reporting music is now searchable on the App Store in the country. The search provides users with a link to “Continue search in Store…”, and Twitter seems to confirm that many Russians can access music using this method.

Interestingly, as noted in previous reports, iPhones.ru confirmed songs are indeed listed for less than the U.S. store, with most songs currently selling for 15 rubbles (roughly 50 cents USD). We expect Apple to roll out full access the store in Russia shortly.

Details on iPhone 4S launch in India, Russia and Taiwan


Unlocked iPhone 4S is priced out of reach of average folks in India.

Currently available in 44 countries, Apple’s iPhone 4S is patiently awaited in 26 additional territories as Apple makes good on its promise to have the device available in over 70 markets and on 100 carriers before end of the year. iPhone 4S has been well received in Japan and Singapore and pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes, but reportedly not so much in South Korea… Read more

RBC Daily: iPhone 5 could start selling in Russia in November

Bloomberg points at an RBC Daily story which claims that Apple could begin selling iPhone 5 in Russia this November, “almost immediately” after sales begin in the US. The Russian newspaper’s story is sourced from unnamed handset retailers. Bloomberg notes:

Russian cellphone operators are in talks with Apple about speeding up deliveries, as previous iPhone versions were introduced in Russia much later than in the U.S., causing a large volume of unauthorized sales, the newspaper said.

So, the Russians likely won’t be getting their hands on iPhone 5 the same day as their American counterparts. On a brighter note, it took the country three months last time to get iPhone 4 so this would be an improvement (Hope Russian President gets his iPhone unlocked this time) It is interesting that Apple is allegedly prepping to open its first Russian store inside the trade gallery of the reconstructed Hotel Moskva, near Kremlin, in late 2011.

A coincidence?

Read more