Apple applies major restrictions and stops selling products in Russia
Apple has announced a number of restrictions in Russia, including that it will stop selling its products in the country following the invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The company outlined a number of steps it is taking in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including limiting its Apple Pay and Apple Maps services in the region, removing Russian state media apps RT News and Sputnik News from all non-Russian App Stores, and suspend product sales in Russia.
It is also claimed that Russian banking apps such as VTB Bank will soon be targeted.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all those who suffer as a result of the violence,” read Apple’s statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid to the unfolding refugee crisis and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.
Apple’s response follows an open letter to CEO Tim Cook published by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov last week. The letter explicitly asked Cook “to stop providing Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to the App Store.”
Although there was no outright blocking of access to the App Store, Apple seems to have done the rest well.
Apple doesn’t operate any physical stores in Russia, but it’s still the third-largest smartphone vendor behind Samsung and Xiaomi, according to IDC. The iPhone 13 was a big seller towards the end of the year.
Apple is just the latest major tech company to roll out restrictions against Russia. Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have all taken steps to block Russian public accounts from buying ad space in an effort to prevent monetization and misinformation.