Apple Halts Product Sales To Russia As More Brands Take A Stand

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As the international community continues to deliver more sanctions against Russia, Apple has decided to stop sales in the country as well. In a statement, the company says it has taken a number of actions in response to the invasion.

The crisis between Russia and Ukraine continues to be a major concern and focus for the international community. Sanctions have been imposed in an attempt to weaken the Russian offensive and create an environment that will hopefully cause Vladimir Putin and the Russian government to end its invasion. Sanctions have certainly taken a toll on the Russian economy, as Roblox's in-game currency currently now has a higher value than the ruble.

Companies such as Intel, AMD and TSMC have already heeded some of those sanctions and ceased deliveries of its electronic components to Russia. Now, Apple has taken a stand as well and said it has stopped all sales of its products on its official storefronts in the country. The company does not have any physical stores in Russia.

In a statement, the tech company said, "We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion. We have paused all product sales in Russia." It continued, "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 of Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens."

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Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, has been making use of Twitter in a campaign to convince Apple to take action. In a tweet posted before the latest actions of Apple, Fedorov asked the company to block the Apple Store for all citizens in the Russian Federation. The tweet includes an image of a letter that the Vice Prime Minister sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook as well. He has since tweeted that Cook should "finish the job" and repeated his request for the company to "block" access to its app store in Russia. Do not bother going to Apple's official Twitter account for any information, as the tech giant does not post any tweets.

Other companies have ceased selling its products in Russia as well. Last week, Dell stated it had stopped sales in both Russia and Ukraine. Nike also stopped selling its products in Russia, while Ford suspended joint operations in the country.

Social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all started monitoring content shared by Russian media as European officials apply intensive pressure to act against pro-Russian propaganda. Netflix has joined in, saying it is refusing to air Russian TV channels in the country.

Apple's iPhones are the third best-selling smartphone in Russia, and account for about 15% of sales. However, this only represents a fraction of Apple's worldwide revenue.

Talks between Russia and Ukraine were short lived recently in Belarus, as explosions in Ukraine brought an end to the conversation. As sanctions continue to take a toll on the Russian economy, it will be interesting to watch just how long the Russian government and its people can withstand the pressure of a falling economy amidst a war.

*Update 3/2/2022: Fedorov also issued a statement on Twitter Tuesday, urging game development companies to close their offices in Russia. The companies include Electronic Arts, Riot Games, and Ubisoft. He wrote, "Right now Russian troops are bombing Ukrainian cities and killing Ukrainians. Please help us stop this."  He also asked that all Russian and Belorussian accounts be temporarily blocked and to stop participation of all Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events being held in Russia and Belarus.