Russia Stories June 28

Apple may be fined by Russia for failing to store user data within the country, according to a new report today.

Twitch, Pinterest, Airbnb, and UPS have already been fined – though the sums involved are hardly likely to concern any of them …

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Russia Stories March 27

At the end of February, Apple announced it was suspending Apple Pay in Russia due to the war against Ukraine. While Visa and Mastercard cards were made immediately unavailable, the Russian Mir card was still working with Apple’s own payment service, but not anymore.

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Russia Stories March 4

Russia has been suffering severe sanctions from other governments since it invaded Ukraine last week. Unfortunately, the situation for those living under Russian territory is about to get worse, as the local government has been censoring the internet. As a result, VPN apps are now among the most downloaded apps in the Russian App Store.

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Russia Stories March 2

A Tim Cook email to employees about the Ukraine crisis outlines the steps Apple has taken so far, and assures them that further action will follow.

Additionally, when employees make donations to humanitarian aid organizations working in the region, Apple will match those donations on a two-for-one basis, tripling the original donation …

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Russia Stories February 25

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US government and the European Union imposed economic sanctions on the country – which include restricting foreign transactions to Russian banks. As a result, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets have been suspended in Russia.

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Russia Stories January 3

The big tech companies are about to face another standoff with Russia, as the Russian government now wants Netflix and other streaming services to include local state TV channels on their platforms.

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Russia Stories December 5, 2021

Apple is in a global fight to protect its App Store business model, and the latest development lands us in Russia. Apple is taking legal action after objecting to a ruling by the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service that would allow developers to promote alternative payment methods to Apple’s in-app purchases.

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Russia Stories November 23, 2021

Russia this week required Apple and other US tech companies to open local offices by the end of 2021 if they want to continue operating in the country. The Russian government is threatening to restrict and even ban companies that do not have official representation there.

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Russia Stories September 1, 2020

Last month we learned Russia found Apple guilty of anti-competitive practices based on how it has handled third-party parental control apps. In a separate, but somewhat related development, a new bill has been submitted to the lower Russian Parliament to cap Apple’s App Store commission at 20% as well as require it to allow third-party app stores.

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Russia Stories December 31, 2019

The Russian government this month passed new protectionist legislation that may directly affect tech and media companies like Apple, Google, Netflix, and Samsung. Starting July 1, 2020, all computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices sold in Russia will be required to come with pre-installed Russian software.

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Russia Stories December 9, 2019

Apple Maps Crimea controversy continues with European Parliament letters

There’s no sign yet of the Apple Maps Crimea controversy dying down anytime soon…

Russia Stories February 4, 2019

Apple stores some user data on Russian servers in compliance with local law, filings reveal

In accordance with a local Russian law that requires technology companies to store some user data on servers within the state, new filings reveal that Apple stores some iCloud information on local Russian servers. While the information stored is apparently limited to full name, address, email and phone number, Apple says more information is stored locally from their Russian employees.

Russia Stories January 6, 2017

MS-Linkedin-2016-06-12-1-c

Not even a week after being requested to pull The New York Times app from the Chinese Apple App Store, both Apple and Google will have to pull the LinkedIn app from their respective app stores. According to The New York Times, the removal comes after a court ruled that LinkedIn had violated Russia’s data protection laws.

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Russia Stories August 8, 2016

lead-iphone-4

Update 8/9: In a statement to Reuters, Apple denied any price-fixing in Russia, claiming that resellers set their own prices:

“Resellers set their own prices for the Apple products they sell in Russia and around the world,” the company said.

Apple is once again being targeted for alleged price-fixing, this time in Russia. The country’s federal antitrust body has today opened a case and investigation into accusations that Apple and 16 resellers formed an agreement to fix prices of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

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Russia Stories February 9, 2016

Russia wants to force Apple & Google to pay more tax, apply 18% VAT to App Store purchases

In what Bloomberg describes as ‘a 90-minute interview peppered with expletives,’ Russia’s new Internet advisor has said that he wants to force Apple and Google to pay more taxes.

German Klimenko is pushing to raise taxes on U.S. companies to help level the playing field for Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru […]

Bloomberg says that he has an interesting ally in this aim …

Russia Stories December 3, 2015

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR APPLE - An Apple Store employee shows off a new iPhone at the iPhone 6 launch at the Eaton Centre Apple Store on Friday, September 19, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images) (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images)
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IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR APPLE - An Apple Store employee shows off a new iPhone at the iPhone 6 launch at the Eaton Centre Apple Store on Friday, September 19, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images)

(Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images)

A month after rolling out carrier billing for iTunes and App Store content with German carrier O2, CNBC reports Apple is expanding the initiative with a similar service in Russia. expand full story

Russia Stories October 9, 2015

iPhone 6s/Plus goes on sale in 36 more countries today, with a further 6 tomorrow

Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 6s/Plus beyond the dozen launch countries kicks off today, with customers in 36 more countries able to get their hands on the new devices. This follows Apple making SIM-free phones available in the USA.

The countries are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Those in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will have to wait until tomorrow, while there’s a further week to go before sales open up in India, Malaysia and Turkey. Apple has promised that the new iPhones will be on sale in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

Apple sold more than 13 million iPhones in the opening weekend. If you’re still on the fence, some recent pieces that may help are my iPhone 6s diary, a video of the best 3D Touch features, plus a comparison video and opinion piece on the 6s versus 6s Plus.

Russia Stories September 26, 2015

Apple could face penalty in Russia over same-sex couple emoji inclusion

Apple could potentially be facing a fine upwards of one million rubles in Russia (which is only about $15,000 USD) over its inclusion of same-sex couple emoji characters on the built-in iOS keyboard. The Independent reports that police in Russia have began an investigation into Apple to determine whether the company has violated a highly controversial national ban on activity its government considers homosexual propaganda.

Local police in Russia’s Kirov region began their enquiries after Orthodox activist and lawyer Yaroslav Mikhailov complained that the images violated a controversial 2013 law banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors.

Russia Stories August 5, 2015

Russian jeweller offers the most bizarre customized Apple Watches you’ll ever see, for $3000

Someone, somewhere not only has no aesthetic taste, but also feels an inexplicable need to pay tribute to Russian President Vladimir Putin – or so Russian jewellery brand Caviar apparently believes. It has released a limited edition customized model which features an embossed dot pattern inscribed with Putin’s signature, the Moscow skyline and the state emblem on the digital crown.

If you are nostalgic for the Soviet Union days, you could opt instead for the USSR Lenin model (complete with engraving of Lenin’s mausoleum) or the Tsar Peter the Great model featuring Russian palaces.

Each costs around $3,000. Rather scarily, Business Insider reports that the company’s previous line of gold Putin cases for the iPhone sold out shortly after going on sale …

If you’re looking for the gold plate without the, er, extras, there are a range of options for transforming a steel Watch into a gold one.

Russia Stories July 31, 2015

Tim Cook greets customers in Istanbul as Apple Watch launches in 3 new countries

As expected, Apple Watch launched today in three new countries. Starting today, Apple’s wearable is available in Turkey, Russia, and New Zealand. This expansion comes after a launch in seven new countries earlier this month. Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Istanbul, Turkey to celebrate the launch and took to his Twitter account to share his experience.

Russia Stories May 20, 2015

Apple Watch + Music

Apple Watch + Music

We’ve reported extensively on what Apple has in store for its new revamped music service that will come alongside an international expansion of iTunes Radio, and today reports from Russian publication Vedomosti (via Billboard) hint that Russia will be one market Apple is aiming to launch in soon… expand full story

Russia Stories April 16, 2015

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After expanding the feature to five new countries earlier this month, Apple today has again rolled out CarPlay to new countries. As noted on Apple’s iOS 8 Feature Availability page, CarPlay is now supported in Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and Sweden. CarPlay is available in 25 countries total with today’s additions.

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Russia Stories January 23, 2015

Apple extends sanctions-compliance in Crimea by blocking sales of all Apple products & services

Apple has ordered resellers to cease all sales of Apple products and services in Crimea as of 1st February. This follows the termination of agreements with app developers in the region earlier this week. Apple states that both moves are to comply with sanctions on the Crimea region of the Ukraine imposed by the US Government. The company informed retailers of the decision by letter.

With reference made to Section 5G, «Export Compliance» of Apple Authorized Service Provider Agreement dated 01.04.14, please be informed that in accordance with the new sanctions on the Crimea Region announced by the US Government on December 19, 2014 you shall not sell Apple products and/or provide services related to Apple products in the Crimea Region as of February 1, 2015.

The US joined the EU in imposing economic sanctions in protest at Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which legally remains part of the Ukraine. Google has likewise started to block AdSense and Adwords accounts in the region, and Google Play services will cease on 1st February.

TechCrunch notes that the political conflict could escalate, with the possibility that Russian government may retaliate by blocking the sale of US imports into Russia–an important market for many US companies, including Apple.

Apple recently responded to a dramatic fall in value of the Russian ruble by temporarily halting online sales before returning with a 35% increase in prices to reflect the current dollar exchange rate. It also increased the prices of apps in the Russian App Store.

Russia Stories January 7, 2015

Apple has sent an email to developers informing them of upcoming changes to app pricing in Canada, the European Union, Norway, Iceland, and Russia. These changes, which take effect later this week, are not the same as the recent change to country-specific VAT rates, and impact a wider range of markets.

The pricing updates are being implemented to accommodate changing tax and currency exchange rates. Prices will go up for customers in all of the affected countries except Iceland, which will see a decrease. Russia’s prices will “change,” according to the email, but there aren’t any additional details on what that may mean.

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