Russian telcos give up on Apple

Apple’s attempts to get into Russia have met another brick wall.

Cupertino has been trying for a decade to sell its products in Russia but has always been met with total disinterest. Part of the problem was that it did not want to reduce the price and Russians did not want to waste several months salary on a product which would be obsolete in a year.

Now Vimpelcom, one of Russia’s top mobile operators, has said that it will no longer sell Apple’s iPhone.

The move follows similar action by other mobile companies in Russia.

Vimpelcom ended negotiations with Apple over iPhone sales this month as the US company would not soften its contract terms, the Financial Times reported, citing a person close to the operator.

The Financial Times also reported that Russian operators MTS and Megafon have halted iPhone sales.

A representative for MTS said that the company’s contract to sell iPhones ended in September 2012, so it did not purchase the iPhone 5. But it sold older iPhone models.

MTS is still selling the iPad, as it sees a huge potential for such products in Russia, the representative said. Megafon said it has not sold an iPhone since 2009.

Apple is still selling in Russia through its own resellers and other mobile phone retailers.