The Apple iPhone might be banned in Russia next year

The Apple iPhone might be banned in Russia next year
A new law passed by Russia's lower house of parliament last week prevents the sale of certain devices that do not have Russian software pre-installed. According to the BBC, the law will take effect next July; before that happens, a list of affected gadgets and the specific software that needs to be installed on these devices will be announced by the Russian government. Naturally, this means that certain smartphones, including the Apple iPhone, might be banned from sale in the country next summer.

Oleg Nikolayev, one of the co-authors of the legislation, explained that many Russians don't know that there are domestic alternatives to the apps that are pre-loaded on phones imported into the country. Nikolayev said, "When we buy complex electronic devices, they already have individual applications, mostly Western ones, pre-installed on them. Naturally, when a person sees them... they might think that there are no domestic alternatives available. And if alongside pre-installed applications, we will also offer the Russian ones to users, then they will have a right to choose."


Similarly, as part of a settlement that Google reached with the EU (that included a $5 billion fine), the first time that a European Android user opens the Google Play Store he is greeted with a couple of pages offering alternative search engines and browsers. Last year, Google was found by the EU to have forced Android phone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome and some users in the EU might not realize that other options are available.

The new Russian law has not been universally welcomed in Russia where some are concerned that the software will be used to spy on consumers. And The Association of Trading Companies and Manufacturers of Electrical Household and Computer Equipment (RATEK) said that it might not be possible to pre-load Russian developed software on all devices. As a result, some global manufacturers could be forced to exit the Russian market. Considering that Apple's mobile iOS operating system is a closed system, it isn't likely that the iPhone would be offered with unknown Russian software pre-loaded.

Data from Statcounter shows that as of last month, Samsung had the largest smartphone market share in Russia with 22.04%. Huawei was next with a 15.99% slice of the Russian smartphone pie followed by Apple. The iPhone had a market share of 15.83% in Russia during October.

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17 Comments

1. yalokiy

Posts: 1113; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

I bet Apple might already have a feature that allows installing additional apps on initial setup. That should be sufficient.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31629; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Russia will decide what's sufficient.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7602; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What kills me is Apple gave China access to iOS years ago, otherwise Apple wasn't going to be able to sell any iPhones in China. So most likely Apple will do something similar with Russia.

15. mackan84

Posts: 640; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Why does it kill you? You wouldn’t touch a Apple device if your life depended on it.

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31629; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep, sure did.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31629; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Wow, that's a trip.

4. tbreezy

Posts: 203; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Incredible, while technology moves forward, governments are moving backwards.

5. Elvis358

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 25, 2018

Pff don't care about that place. It just shows how it's going downhill.

6. Budhainthemood

Posts: 104; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Another example of Muzhikistan(a.k.a. Russia) going down further and further...who cares anyway.

8. Mels13

Posts: 119; Member since: Jun 23, 2014

Quite opposite.It goes on with their own things and independence from dictatorship while some other countries r sell outs to sell themselves to the global regime.

7. Alcyone

Posts: 581; Member since: May 10, 2018

Maybe Apple will opening the "garden" a little. Russia isn't as easy as the US to appease. Gotta keep the profit roling, even if it has slowed (least the iphone sells).

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7602; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

IPhone sales fell by 3.4 billion dollars last quarter. Apple still sold 33.3 billion dollars last quarter in iPhones. But last year Apple sold 36.7 billion worth of iPhones, for the same timeframe. No wonder why Apple stopped reporting the actual number of iPhones that actually sold.

9. Mels13

Posts: 119; Member since: Jun 23, 2014

Its fair.Eu complained about Google now we have a chance to choose. And its good.Russia is independent country not as some colonies that sell themselves and obey to anyone. They develop their own apps and want people to know about them and to have the right to choose Russian apps or original ones.As now we have with Google in Eu.I know cia orders apple to spy on customers around the world thats why they dont want the alternatives but Russia is not Usa colony.And if they cant deal with it they will loose money.But its good for the applications and software concurrence when u have the right to chooce.

16. Cyberchum

Posts: 1111; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Oh, you didn't have the right to choose before? Tell me about it. If a user doesn't know that there are alternatives, how is that the OEM's fault? Does Google prevent you from downloading/installing a certain app on your device? Yeah, go ahead and blame someone else for your ignorance.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31629; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

https://www.google.com/search?q=does+ios+13.2.3+have+a+facetime+issue&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari So I just found out, several iPhone users can’t FaceTime on iOS 13, due to a bug.

11. MsPooks

Posts: 245; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

I've gotten some really good apps from Russian devs on the Play Store. Making some of their stuff more visible wouldn't be so bad.

17. Cyberchum

Posts: 1111; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

It's up to a developer to advertise his/her app. That's how things work.

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