According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has temporarily suspended all online sales in Russia due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the ruble (the country’s native currency).
The online store will be down until Apple is able to adjust the prices in Russia. In an email statement, Apple spokesman Alan Hely said:
“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”
Currently, the webpage for Apple’s online store for Russia is displaying the typical “We’ll be back” message. It is still unclear how long the webpage will be down.
“Russia sales make up a small part of Apple’s market for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were rolled out this year. IPhone sales in the country doubled last year to 1.57 million unit, bringing in $1 billion, according to researcher IDC. Apple shipped 153.4 million iPhones in 2013, according to IDC.”
Last month, Apple had to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by 25 percent in Russia due to the weak Russian ruble. Apple’s online store remains the only way for people to directly purchase the company’s products in Russia, as the company doesn’t have any retail stores in the country.
Three major factors have contributed to the decline in Russia’s economy. First, the drop in the price of oil has severely damaged the economy as the energy sector is a giant source of foreign capital into Russia. The invasion of Crimea and the dispute over western Ukraine have also done a fair amount of damage. Finally, many Russian citizens have lost confidence in the country’s future.