Apple Has Stopped All Product Sales in Russia

Posted on March 2, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple with 22 Comments

Apple has stopped selling its products in Russia in reaction to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In a statement shared with several media outlets, the company said that it had “stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country” last week, and the company has also taken additional measures affecting users of Apple services in Russia.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking,” Apple said in the statement. The company has already restricted Apple Pay and other services in Russia, and the RT News and Sputnik apps have also been removed from the App Store outside of Russia.

Moreover, the company has disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine in an effort to protect local citizens. Google has also taken a similar measure in Google Maps earlier this week, with live traffic features in Ukraine being temporarily disabled.

Slowly but surely, a global consensus is starting to emerge among big tech companies regarding the situation in Ukraine. This week, Meta, YouTube, and Tiktok have banned Russian news channels RT and Sputnik in Europe. Microsoft has also removed the RT app from the Microsoft Store, and according to Reuters, Google has now done the same with the RT and Sputnik apps on the Google Play Store in Europe.

If Apple went a step further by stopping sales of its products in Russia, the Ukrainian government is now pushing other tech companies to do the same. Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation has published an open letter on Twitter today to ask Xbox, Playstation, and all game development companies to leave the Russian market. “We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression,” the Ukrainian minister wrote.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Apple Has Stopped All Product Sales in Russia”

  1. lvthunder

    I think they stopped sales mostly because of how unstable the ruble is at the moment. Everyone in the country lost 30% of their money over the weekend. I'm kind of surprised they didn't suspend app purchases. Not out of spite (even though I'm sure they are repulsed at Putin's actions), but just about the unstable currency.

    • Stabitha.Christie

      Historically when a currency has become unstable Apple stops accepting it but still continues sales. For example, when the Turkish liar was fluctuating wildly they continued to sell products in Turkey but only accepted Euros. So they may have stopped due to the currency tanking but it is certainly different than how they approached the situation in the past.

      • lvthunder

        Do many Russians have foreign currency? I live in the US and only have dollars. Also, remember the banks in Russia are closed because they fear a run on the banks.

        • Jogy

          A lot of people around the world make use of dollars. Especially if they do not trust the stability of their own currency.

        • Stabitha.Christie

          Also worth pointing out that I don't know if it is even legal for Apple to charge in a currency other than Rubles in Russia. It wouldn't be surprised if it was banned. Seems like the kind of thing Putin would do. I'm just pointing out that Apple is handling this differently than they have in the past, they may very well have no other option.

        • Stabitha.Christie

          I don't know how many people in Russia have foreign currency but it's also a bit irrelevant. I, like you, only have dollars in my bank account. If I buy something online sold in a foreign currency or am in a different country I just pay for whatever and the bank manages the currency exchange. So the seller gets the currency they are charging in and my account is debited in dollars, there is usually a foreign transaction fee that I pay. So the same thing would apply here. Apple would would get paid in Euros and the bank would manage the currency exchange and withdraw in Ruples. For the customers the cost would vary day to day due to currency fluctuation but for Apple it would stay stable. Access to foreign currency is pretty common in Russia. Common enough that the ATMs allow people to do withdrawals in currencies other than Rubles. There have been a bunch of stores about about people queueing at ATMs to withdrawal their money in other currencies to protect if from losing value.

    • christianwilson

      John Gruber got the answer to this.


      Daring Fireball:


      Statement from Apple, sent to me via email:

      We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.
      We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion. We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.
      We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.
      • christianwilson

        Sorry. Quoted text got cut off for some reason:


        We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.


        We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion. We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.


        We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.

  2. MoopMeep

    Governments are confusing to me. Sanctions dont include smartphone, playstations and xboxes?


    it would be nice if sony and microsoft or apple and google put out joint statements agreeing to ban their products. Companies that normally compete, working together against russia

    • wright_is

      The sanctions go in stages, the first ones should hurt the military and government (inability to pay for things coming from abroad), but that also hurts the population in general as well, there is little or no way around that.


      Sanctions on weapons and dual-use items (E.g. PCs) that can be used by civilians, but also used by the military - the PlayStation 2 fell under that blanket in Iran, but times have moved on. Heck, during the cold war, the DEC VT100 terminal fell under items that couldn't be sold to the Eastern Block, because they were advanced electronic devices under COCO; we had a lightning strike that killed nearly 1,000 VTs, we had to get them completely destroyed (we had a junkyard next door to the site, who put them through the metal compactor) and that had to be observed by a government official, who signed a certificate to state that they had been properly destroyed as per the sanctions.


      As things go on, the number of sanctions and what is affected by them will increase. Oil & gas exports from Russia will probably be next on the list, which will be hard for us, here in Europe, especially Germany, as 60% of our gas currently comes from Russia.


      The other problem is, they (the nations) want to hurt the Russian government and business to make them pay attention and to make it harder for them to wage war, but, on the other hand, they don't want to damage their own economy too much in the process.

  3. digiguy

    I bet they will mention the measures at the March event

  4. chriscarstens

    So, what's Apple's plan for China if there's an invasion of Taiwan?

    • pecosbob04

      If China invades Taiwan Apple (and a lot of other companies) will have more pressing concerns than exchange rates.

    • Stabitha.Christie

      Strange question, I doubt anyone that knows the answer to that is going to post it here.

      • chriscarstens

        IMHO, if sanctions such as those applied to Russia were applied to China, Apple’s manufacturing would be out of business for the duration. I wonder if people are factoring that into the stock price?

        • lvthunder

          Not so fast there. The one thing everyone relies on Russia for is oil and gas. All these sanctions have excluded oil and gas. So if they did the same thing to China they would exclude manufacturing. I mean Joe Biden wouldn't cut off the supply of his own COVID tests the government will send you in the mail.

        • Stabitha.Christie

          The impact would be larger than manufacturing. The A and M series chips are fabricated in Taiwan.


          I would be surprised if Apple doesn’t have contingency planning for both manufacturing and chip supply. Tim Cook doesn’t really strike me as the armature hour.


          i would say that the investors are not overly concerned as Apple has already weathered a disruption of its global supply chain and there is no reason to think there is an invasion of Taiwan about to happen.

          • wright_is

            They have been looking at diversifying their manufacturing for a few years now, with places like India and Vietnam on the list.


            But chip fabs are the biggest problem. You can't knock one of those up in a couple of weeks, that needs years of lead-time and cost billions to get online.

            • Stabitha.Christie

              Yeah, the exposure is more on the processor side. In 2020 TSMC announced the start of a fab facility in the U..S. (I think Arizona) so they are certainly looking diversify production.

        • pecosbob04

          Apple is not the only company that would face component and assembly challenges.

  5. MsAlla

    Intesting how quickly Russia can adapt it's economic to these changes.