Russia’s second-largest mobile carrier MegaFon will start selling iPhones again in its retail stores — for the first time since 2010.
MegaFon’s new three-year contract with Apple comes after the Cupertino company relaxed its sales policy in Russia.
In the middle of 2013, none of Russia’s three largest wireless operators sold iPhones in their retail outlets. That changed when carriers MTS and VimpelCom resumed selling the iPhone on October 25 last year.
The iPhone’s share of the Russian smartphone market currently stands at around 9 percent — making the devices unobtainable for all but the wealthiest people.
As with China, Apple’s potential growth in Russia (which has a population of 143 million) presents a direct conflict between keeping margins high and challenging Samsung’s dominance in the marketplace as makers of lower-cost smartphones.