Apple Resumes Online Sales in Russia


After a six-day break, prices went up substantially, even though the Russian ruble regained most of its value

Apple has resumed online sales in Russia after a six-day interruption, caused by a sharp decline in the value of the ruble. The company also has substantially hiked prices for its products.

Online sales were halted on Dec. 16 following sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble, which at some point that day lost more than 30 percent of its value, falling as low as 80 rubles per U.S. dollar.

And although the ruble regained some of its value over the next few days, and the official exchange rate is now 55.6 rubles per dollar, or roughly the same as it was prior to Dec. 16, new prices for iPhones in Russia were about one-third higher when online sales resumed on Monday, Dec.  22.

A 16GB iPhone 6 will now set a buyer back 53,990 rubles ($971 at the current exchange rate) as opposed to 39,990 rubles ($719) just a week ago, and the price for a 128GB iPhone 6 went up from 52,990 rubles ($953) to 69,990 rubles ($1,259).

Apple previously halted online sales in Russia in late November and resumed them at increased prices. However, on that occasion, local retailers didn't wait for Apple to resume official sales, instead raising prices for iPhone and iPads at their own discretion, which resulted in noticeable discrepancies between prices at different outlets.

Meanwhile, the prices for digital content on Russia's iTunes store were unaffected.