updated 10:00 am EDT, Fri July 31, 2009
Russian iPhone sales low
The iPhone 3G has been unsuccessful in the Russian market, says Fortune. Three major phone carriers began selling the device there six months ago. A deal with Apple required 3.5 million iPhones to be sold over a two- to three-year period; carriers and their retail partners, however, have only been able to sell 250,000 phones since the Russian release date.
One retailer, Euroset, is said to owe carrier MTS $8.5 million for iPhones it cannot unload.
Prior to the official release of the iPhone in Russia, approximately 400,000 unlocked devices had made their way there, which may have satisfied the initial demand and eaten into sales. Perhaps the most significant problem hurting Russian iPhone sales is contract-free pricing, which started at $1,000 and has since only dropped to between $700 and $800. Carriers are reportedly trying to renegotiate, either for lower prices or lower quotas.