Apple’s decision to halt sales in Russia puts pressure on Samsung

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the keynote speech during the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Brooks Craft/Apple Inc/Handout via Reuters

Barcelona – apples The decision to stop selling products in Russia is putting pressure on other smartphone makers to do the same, according to analysts.

an Apple announce the decision Tuesday, along with a number of other measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. All Apple products on the company’s Russian online storefront are listed as “not available” for purchase or delivery in the country. Apple does not operate any physical Apple Stores in Russia.

This move imposes “absolute” pressure on competing companies such as Samsung To follow up, CCS Insight chief analyst Ben Wood told CNBC on Wednesday. Samsung did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

“It’s important that they made a statement,” Wood said, referring to Apple. “They are very much ahead,” he said, adding that some of Apple’s competitors are selling large volumes in Russia.

Apple also said it has removed Russian state-owned RT News and Sputnik News outlets from its App Store in countries around the world except Russia.

Wood said the Cupertino-based tech giant is in a “strong position” to be able to take the measures it has. “It’s a huge player in technology and one of the most valuable companies in the world.”

The iPhone accounts for nearly 15% of the Russian smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research, which estimates that Apple sold about 32 million iPhones in the country last year.

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Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told CNBC that Apple’s move “could force others to follow suit.”

Since Russia is not a major market for Apple, the company’s actions are unlikely to have a significant impact on the company, according to Wood. “Their work is so big that it is very flexible,” he said. “The loss of that revenue will not have a catastrophic effect on the business.”

Analyst and tech investor Benedict Evans said financial sanctions and currency fluctuations may have made it difficult for Apple to sell its products in Russia. In fact, Apple suspended sales in Turkey in November when the lira collapsed.

He said, “The ruble fell 30% yesterday [on Tuesday], so it’s not clear what price they need to charge for the iPhone, and bank penalties make it difficult or impossible to transfer money from sales there out of the country. Practical difficulties for anyone importing goods into Russia at the moment. ”

Evans also noted on Twitter that Apple has no problem doing business in China, adding that “it’s always easier to stick to your principles when that’s not 20% of your revenue and most of your manufacturing.”

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhailo Fedorov called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to finish the job and block access to the App Store in Russia. And on Wednesday, Microsoft urged the Xbox and Sony PlayStation Stop supporting Russian markets and “Temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts.”

Companies around the world are rapidly withdrawing from Russia as governments impose sanctions on the country. With Western countries withdrawing subsidies, there may be an opportunity for Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi to delve deeper into the country.

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“The Chinese are well established [in Russia] “It seems that commercial links remain open. It could be an opportunity,” Wood said.

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