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iPhone floundering in Russian market

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Makes my stomach

    churn just thinking about it. Like a bad dream. I suppose the iPhone is priced too high for the Russian market. This is like India all over again. I thought there were plenty of rich people in Russia, but maybe even those people just don't care for the iPhone. This is such disheartening news that I don't even want to read about it since it runs counter to all the raves that the iPhone has been getting throughout the world.

  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why pay that much for a locked phone if unlocked ones are available? They're going to have the same sales problem in China.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this again

    Is the iPhone still selling poorly in Russia, since the last time your reported on it a few days ago?

    Frankly the iPhone is not selling poorly at all, the 400,000 grey phones, are real sales - that bring money to Apple.

    All that 'grey market' means, is Apple is accounting for those sales in other countries, and they were then legally and responsibly resold to satisfy the demand.

    Finally, late and overpriced, Apple bumbles into the Russian market for real.

    I don't know what they want, Russia's 140 million people are largely poor. This device was targeted at the rich.

    I think they have huge numbers among the rich, allthough, frankly the Nokia brand, which is generally stronger in Europe than the U.S. is particularly strong in Russia.

    It'll take time to build up that kind of brand loyalty.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why does it make your stomach churn? Is it not allowed for people to not throw their money at Apple for every product they release?

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: this again

    While the iPhone is certainly not targeted at "the rich", it is also clearly not targeted at "the poor". In fact when you are looking at a country where as you said the majority of the population are poor, their biggest concerns are going to be food, shelter, clothing, and energy, not the latest high tech gadget.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Closed. . .

    Dare I say we're talking a country where paying for copyrighted IP hasn't really caught on.

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Got nothin

    In Soviet Russia, the iPhone flounders you!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bought else where

    A lot of them already bought iPhones, unlocked from the US and other countries.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Closed

    Dare I say we're talking a country where paying for copyrighted IP hasn't really caught on.

    And what has this to do with the iPhone?

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