Apple had made the decision last March, like many foreign companies, to leave the Russian market, following the invasion of Ukraine. A decision whose expected consequence was to completely prevent the marketing of iPhones launched after the iPhone 13 generation – which in theory should prevent Russians from getting an iPhone 14.
Apple has stopped exporting its products to the country, including to retailers, for this purpose. And yet, Russian consumers who want it will be able to get the new iPhone when it arrives on September 14. The country has in fact put in place a legal mechanism allowing Russian retailers to directly import foreign products without the permission of the brand owner.
Why the iPhone 14 will still be available in Russia
Asked about the subject, the Russian Minister of Industry Denis Manturov has just confirmed to Reuters that the iPhone 14 are indeed covered by this program: “Why [les iPhone 14 ne devraient pas être disponibles, ndlr] ? If consumers want to buy these smartphones, yes. They will have the opportunity”.
Several Russian retailers and carriers are already offering the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max as of this writing, according to our colleagues at Engadget. The operator MTS, for example, opened pre-orders on Thursday. The iPhone 14 128 GB is offered for the sum of 84,990 rubles or approximately 1,420 euros.
The same model is available for 1,029 euros in France. A sign that supply difficulties are likely to arise in pre-orders, the operator nevertheless specifies to its customers that pre-orders are likely to be canceled in the event of problems on the import side.
It is difficult at this stage to know what Apple can actually do to prevent its smartphones from reaching the Russian market. By going through resellers, Russian retailers can indeed cover their tracks at will, and complicate any attempt to prevent the export of these models to Russia.
Besides its products, Apple does not offer Apple Pay in Russia. But some services like iCloud remain available. Following a court decision, the firm has in fact joined forces with a local partner to offer the service – which, to our knowledge, has not ceased, since Apple’s exit from the Russian market, to be available in the country.