Apple Forced To Stop Online Sales In Russia

Bear apple russiaREUTERS/Pavel KashayevA bear catches an apple with his mouth at the university zoo in the central Russian city of Tambov.

Apple has completely stopped sales in its online Apple Store and dramatically increased its app prices in Russia following the collapse of the ruble and out of control price inflation in the country, 9to5mac reports. 

Today, the company told developers it was altering prices of apps and in-app purchases in the Russian App Store. 

While Russians can no longer buy an iPhone over the internet, Apple stopped short of also shutting its separate app store in Russia. But it has raised prices for apps by nearly 100%. A 99 pence/99 cents app now costs 62 rubles.

The decisions come amid the ongoing financial crisis in Russia. Essentially, Apple is re-evaluating its pricing in the country in an attempt to combat uncertainty. The ruble’s price has been incredibly unstable against the dollar — making it really difficult for Apple to correctly price the products it’s selling there. The iPhone 6 is now 25% more expensive for Russians, for example. 

The ruble has lost about 40% of its value this year, which means that it if Apple had not changed its prices or halted sales it would be selling items super-cheap — maybe even at a loss. For Russians, however, the price hike is yet another part of their economic nightmare. The more prices rise, the comparatively poorer Russians become.

This is what the Russian App Store looks like right now. Translation: “Currently unavailable at this time”. 

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