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Apple halts online sales in Russia due to shaky currency

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 16, 2014
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If you hadn't heard, the value of Russia's ruble is tanking -- and that's starting to make online store operators nervous. Apple tells Bloomberg that it has frozen internet sales in the country while its workers "review pricing." The company hasn't said when the store might come back, but it's a drastic step when Apple and many other tech companies usually deal with currency changes by adjusting prices and calling it a day. Until the official store returns, Russians will have to be content with going through third-party outlets (such as carriers and retail chains) to get their iPhones and Macs.

The damage to Cupertino's bottom line is fairly small. IDC estimates that Apple sold nearly 1.6 million iPhones in Russia during 2013, or just a drop in the bucket next to the 153.4 million sold worldwide. However, the loss definitely doesn't set a good precedent. If other companies decide that it's too risky to maintain their online sales, Russia may find itself without a lot of the internet shopping that other countries take for granted.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin]

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