updated 03:55 pm EDT, Fri September 5, 2008
MTS iPhones for Russia
Russia's top cellular carrier, Mobile TeleSystems, today announced it has successfully negotiated with Apple and will soon be offering the iPhone, according to the Associated Press. This confirms speculation that Apple would be making deals with all three major Russian carriers, as the company signed deals with Vimpelcom and MegaFon earlier this week.
Despite the lack of any official distributor, the iPhone is already successful on Russia's gray market, where there could be a half million or more devices in circulation. Although white-market customers will probably be paying less than for unlocked phones, Russian prices are still expected to be higher than in many other countries, due to a lack of phone subsidization.
Final prices and release dates have not been given by MTS, but iPhones are expected to ship later this year.