Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/26/apple_peers_beyond_the_iron_curtain_with_launch_of_full_online_store/

Apple dives through iRon curtain, launches Russian online store

Hope there are no Kremlins in the system, фанбои

By Jasper Hamill

Posted in Hardware, 26th June 2013 12:47 GMT

Apple is preparing for an invasion of Russia with the launch of an online store selling the fruity firm's full product range.

The new digital shopfront launched with a homepage graphic referencing the bold design of the Russian constructivist artists. Up until now, Russian fanbois could only buy iProducts from resellers.

The Russian roll-out has been a long time coming. In February of this year, Apple began hiring staff to run the new site, seeking Russian speakers to work from its Cork-based tax haven headquarters, as well in Moscow. The Irish staff will run the Apple Chat service, which helps with online customer care.

According to the Moscow News, Cupertino tried to open a physical Apple store back in 2011, but could not find the right premises. The report also said that Apple was unhappy with its supply chain in the country, particularly when it came to the distribution of iPhones.

Last year, the fruity firm registered the name Apple Rus and appeared to be making plans to bypass the resellers, which include 99 hawkers in Moscow and 72 in St Petersburg.

The world's ninth most populous nation is likely to prove a good market for Apple, due to its richer denizens' ever-growing desire for bling.

Russian consumers are known to have a taste for luxury, with more and more of the super-rich buying super yachts and old world status symbols like Rolls Royce cars.

Earlier this month, Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoe said the People's Republic of Putin was becoming an important market.

"Russia is very attractive because you see here a lot of individuals that have money. A lot of entrepreneurs are in Russia building their own businesses. People are perfectly prepared to spend money for luxury goods." ®