updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon August 18, 2008
Russian iPhone deals near?
Apple is nearing an agreement to sell the iPhone in Russia, says Vedomosti. The regional publication cites inside sources, who claim that two out of the three major cellular carriers in Russia -- Megafon and VimpelCom -- are on the verge of signing a deal to distribute the iPhone. The only stumbling block at present is said to be bulk orders, as Apple may want carriers to accept unusually large quantities of the phone all at once -- between 1 to 1.5 million units each, for a total of 3 to 4.5 million for the whole country.
Analyst Dmitry Deev of MForum Analytics suggests that there is no way all of these phones could be sold, as it would represent 12 percent of the Russian market, and a third of its entire value. In reality, says Deev, it is more realistic to try for 1.5 to 2 percent of the market, or about 500,000 to 600,000 iPhones annually. To reach sales of 3 to 4 million, Deev argues that Apple would have to push for a price under the equivalent of $250.