Apple stops all iPhone, iPad, or Mac store sales in Russia, but not the App Store

Apple is very risk-averse when it comes to preserving its revenue intact and has recently reacted immediately when the local currency of a country it sells in devalues in any fairly significant manner against the dollar.

When the Turkish lira was in freefall last November, for instance, Apple ceased the sales of its AirPods, iPads, iPhones, Macs and Watch Series in the country with little warning, then reopened purchases from its Turkish website with prices jacked up by more than twenty percent to compensate for the lira’s devaluation.

To Apple’s defense, it immediately lowered the pricing range of its products as soon as the Turkish currency subsequently recovered, so it is simply trying to protect its revenue and compensate for any exchange rate volatility that comes through no fault of its own.

In Russia, however, where international sanctions brought upon for the conflict in Ukraine mean not only a significant drop in the value of the ruble, but also disconnecting a number of Russian banks from the international payment platform SWIFT, and a ban on the export of American products and services to the country, Apple reacted on the same day by completely halting all sales in its Russian store.

On the other hand, despite Ukraine’s pleas, Apple has left a functioning App Store for its numerous users in Russia, while it has restricted some of its Maps features in Ukraine, like the live traffic tool, to make it harder to track civilians. The situation with Apple Pay is in flux, too, as the mobile payment system has very limited functionality in Russia at the moment.

It is not clear if and when Apple will renew its sales in Russia, as the SWIFT exclusion and foreign currency transaction limitations complicate the picture quite a bit and have never been brought down on a country with the size of the Russian economy before. 

We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking,” Apple said in an e-mailed statement. “We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.”

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