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Apple has halted online sales in Russia as the ruble fell drastically against the U.S. dollar and the Euro on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, iPhone prices will reportedly go up by at least 10 percent.
“Due to extreme fluctuations of the ruble exchange rate, our online store is currently closed for price revision,” a company spokesman was quoted as saying by the news agency TASS. “We apologize for possible inconveniences.”
On Tuesday, the ruble fell of the cliff, losing up to 20 percent of its value at some points over the course of the day and sinking below 80 rubles per dollar from 58.3 rubles per dollar on Monday. The sharp fall is believed to be partially triggered by the Central Bank’s failed attempt to stop the ruble from a further plunge by a surprise interest-rate increase.
According to previous reports, Apple planned to raise prices for iPhones on Dec. 24. In late November, Apple already halted its online sales in Russia and reviewed prices, increasing those for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus by about 25 percent.
Late on Tuesday, Russian News Service quoted a source at the Evroset mobile phone retailer as saying that as of Wednesday, prices for the iPhone 6 will be increased by at least 10 percent.
Meanwhile, prices for movies at Russia’s iTunes have not been increased, and the year’s top-selling movie, Maleficent, is offered for rent at $1.60 (99 rubles) in HD quality and $1.10 (69 rubles) in SD quality and for sale at $4.90 (299 rubles) and $3.10 (189 rubles), respectively.
Ironically, in early December, Apple launched its first ever TV-ad campaign in Russia, which was widely viewed as a sign of the Russian market’s importance for the company.
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