Aug 25, 2008

Apple iPhone 3G on the way to Russia

A report by Reuters has confirmed that Russia will indeed be see the Apple iPhone 3G, and before next year. Reuters reports that Apple has finally agreed a deal to bring the iPhone 3G to Russia, launching on Mobile TeleSystems “likely” in Октябрь (October, that is). TeleSystems on the sale of iPhones in Russia, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for mobile telephone handsetsa market source said. Sadly, Apple declined to comment as did a spokeswoman for Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Russia’s largest mobile phone operator which is controlled by Russian services conglomerate Sistema.

Apple’s iPhones are not yet sold officially in Russia, but they have swiftly become a status symbol in Moscow with soaring unauthorised sales of phones brought into Russia in suitcases or sent into the country by courier. Monthly sales of these phones in Russia are estimated at about 20,000 and industry experts say the number of iPhones operating in Russia could total 700,000 by the end of 2008. Russia could well be a massive outlet market for the Apple iPhone 3G, and as such it is believed Apple is in negotiations with two other Russian telecom giants, MegaFon and Vimpelcom, and both these also declined to comment. “The devil is in the detail,” Belov said. “We need to know on what conditions the companies have reached an agreement, whether they are exclusive. But it is not such a trigger for the company which will radically influence its results,” he said. Source...

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