The wildly fluctuating worth of the Russian rouble currency has lead iPhone makers Apple to halt online sales in the country, as the tech giant cannot set stable prices for its wares.
The rouble has dropped in worth 20 per cent this week, despite the treasury’s dramatic decision to raise interest rates a whopping 6.5 per cent to 17 per cent. In the past few hours the rouble hit an all time low, with a dollar worth 79 roubles. It’s settled a little now, sitting at 71 roubles to the dollar at the time of writing.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine have caused the slide, with economists fearing fresh sanctions from the US over Russia’s support of the separatist movement in its neighbouring country. The weak rouble had meant that Apple products were massively more affordable in Russia than in other European territories, leaving Apple out of pocket and plucky importers with iPhone and iPad bargains on their hands.
Will this bother Premier Putin? Probably not — he claims not to have a smartphone as it’d be ringing off the hook. He’s a popular guy. But prime minister Dmitry Medvedev might shed a tear though — he is a big Apple fan, and was personally given an iPhone 4 by Steve Jobs before it had even been officially released. [BBC]