Apple has put a halt to its sales in Russia due to the rapidly dropping value of the rouble, according to an article by Jennifer Rankin in the Guardian. Over the past week, Russia’s rouble has dropped 20 percent in value, and as such Apple has shuttered its online store while the company ‘reviews its pricing’. It’s not the only company doing this kind of thing either; major car brands like BMW and Ford have stopped sales as well.
High-end smartphones are quite popular in the country, with Russians spending about a billion dollars on iPhones in 2013, and buying about six times more Samsung smartphones (albeit at lower prices). And with the latest iteration of the iPhone, which comes equipped with embedded fingerprint-scanning biometric security, Russians were prepared to accept prices about a third more expensive than those for the same products in the United States.
Russia is thus a very big market, and so it’s unlikely that the Apple store will remain shuttered for long; but in the meantime, the country’s “modish cultural elite” who especially favour Apple’s devices will have to grin and bear it while President Putin tries to sort it all out.