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Apple's Cupertino comrades conspire to capture Russia

'Direct sales invasion mulled'

Punk-styled girl with piercing gazes at an apple

Apple is beefing up its presence in Russia, according to rumours in the Russian financial daily Kommersant.

Apple has registered a company called Apple Rus and assigned Vitaly Morozk, the company’s local legal advisor, as its director general, reports the paper. Allegedly, opening stores in President Putin's back garden is not in the pipeline, but Apple Rus may take over distribution in the St Petersburg and Moscow regions - and do direct sales as early as 2013.

A Russian iTunes and apple.com/ru website was set up in 2008, both but sites direct punters who want to buy products to a list of approved resellers. There are 99 approved Apple hawkers in Moscow and 72 in St Petersburg.

The Cupertino, California company hasn't confirmed the rumours, and Russian Apple distie diHouse could not be reached for comment.

Apple's biggest distributor in Russia is diHouse who field 75 per cent of Apple sales according to the Moscow News, they also sell through distributors called Marvel and OSC. iPhones are sold through telecoms companies Vimpelcom and MTS. ®

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