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Apple halts sales of all products in Russia

The move is a direct response to the Ukraine invasion.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 24, 2021: New Apple iPhone 13 smartphones on display in the re:Store shop. The iPhone 13 went on sale in Russia on 24 September. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|March 1, 2022 4:07 PM

Apple is doing more in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine beyond cutting off services. As BuzzFeed News' John Paczkowski notes, the tech firm has halted "all product sales" in Russia after cutting off exports last week. Visit the company's Russian online store and every product is listed as unavailable. In a statement, Apple made clear this was in response to the invasion — the iPhone maker "stand[s] with all of the people" hurt by the incursion, and is joining those "calling for peace."

The company stressed that it had taken multiple actions beyond the sales freeze. It limited Apple Pay, and pulled the apps for the state-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik from the App Store. Apple also mirrored Google's decision to disable traffic data for Maps users in Ukraine (including live incidents) to avoid revealing info that could put Ukraine residents in danger. Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov had called on Apple to stop sales and block the entire App Store.

Google, Meta and other tech companies have restricted or withdrawn services in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th. However, Apple is notable for pulling hardware from the market — it's willing to give up its physical stake, at least for now.

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Not now

This is a notable sacrifice, if a limited one. Estimates put Apple's yearly revenue from Russia at roughly $2.5 billion in 2020. That's a large number for most companies, even if it represents just 0.9 percent of Apple's total sales from that year. As it stands, Apple wouldn't have gained much by sticking around. The invasion and ensuing international sanctions tanked the value of the ruble, making Apple's products that much harder to buy in the country. The halt will definitely affect Apple's bottom line — it just won't deal as much damage as some might expect.

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