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Apple suspends online store operation in Russia due to ruble fluctuations

Apple suspends online store operation in Russia due to ruble fluctuations

December 17, 2014

Apple has taken down its online store and ceased online sales in Russia in response to extreme fluctuations in the ruble.

As reported by Bloomberg:

The iPhone and iPad maker stopped sales from its Web store as Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem a run on the currency. The ruble briefly sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled.

Apple’s Russian online store is currently unavailable, with the company’s standard offline message tacked on the site. “We’ll be back,” the site says. “We’re busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon.”

According to an Apple spokesman, Apple has taken its online store in Russia offline as it reviews its pricing in the country with regard to the unusual swings in the local currency.

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The suspended online store is Apple’s main direct commercial channel with its customers in Russia, where the Cupertino-based company has partner carriers and resellers only in lieu of its official retail stores. However, although it’s the largest country in the world, Russia makes up only a small part of Apple’s market particularly for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple had attempted to deal with the ruble’s fluctuations last month by increasing the price of the iPhone 6 in Russia by 25 percent.

It’s unclear if Apple plans to restore online sales soon with increased prices or wait until the ruble fluctuations subside.

See also: ‘Not guilty’ verdict in iPod antitrust trial is music to Apple’s ears, Is your bank now accepting Apple Pay?, and Apple devices among Google’s top trending consumer electronics searches in 2014.

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