iPhones proving too pricey

MEGAN DAVIES
Last updated 11:09 18/07/2013

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Vimpelcom, one of Russia's top mobile operators, will no longer sell Apple Inc's iPhone, the Financial Times has reported, after similar moves by other mobile companies in Russia.

Vimpelcom ended negotiations with Apple over iPhone sales this month as the US company would not soften its contract terms, the paper said, citing a person close to the operator.

The Financial Times also reported that Russian operators MTS and Megafon have halted iPhone sales.

A representative for MTS said that the company's contract to sell iPhones ended in September 2012, so it did not purchase the latest model, the iPhone 5. But it did continue to sell older models of iPhones in stock.

MTS is actively pushing sales of Apple's tablet computer the iPad as it sees a huge potential for such products in Russia, the representative said.

A spokesman for Megafon said on Wednesday that it has not sold iPhones since 2009.

Vimpelcom and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The operators were hurt by the fact that Russia does not allow subsidies for handsets, making the phones too expensive for the average customer, the paper reported.

Apple, which has a 4.5 per cent share of the Russian smartphone market, can still sell in Russia through its own resale stores and other mobile phone retailers, the Financial Times reported.

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- Reuters

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