Apple Faces Stiff Oppositions from Major Russian Carriers
Apple is certainly a much-loved company in the United States, but the company’s products don’t seem to gain much success in certain countries. The latest iPhone model costs only $200 with 2-year agreement in the US, while an unlocked, off-contract model may cost a whopping $900 in certain countries, due to shipment costs and tariffs. In comparison, the off contract iPhone 4S 16GB sells for $650 in the United States and nearly $800 in the UK.
MTS, the Russian largest carrier, isn’t too happy with this situation and calling Apple a dictatorship that imposes draconian rules for overseas network service providers. Other major carriers in Russia also refuse to sell the iPhone due to similar issues. Although Russia is still largely a feature-phone dominated market, it is now a booming market for smartphone manufacturers. Recent studies suggest that smartphone penetration may reach 60 percent by Q4 2014.
In contrast, Android receives decent success and it covers all ranges in the local market, with the lowest tier just above $100 and top tier models that match iPhone pricing, such as HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3. On the other hand, Apple doesn’t seem too concerned with this development and Tim Cook continues to reassert that his company is prioritizing on quality above all else.