As the Russian media reports, an unnamed Russian Ministry of Digital Development official said that Apple agreed to comply with the provisions of the law on the mandatory pre-installation of Russian software on its gadgets. From April 1, the Apple devices, when activated in the Russian Federation, will offer domestic applications. Apple has confirmed this news.
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A representative of Apple said that installing an application is not mandatory. So users can select an application from the list and click to agree or refuse to install it.
Also, the Cupertino company said that according to an agreement with the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, from April 1st, Russian developers will pre-install local applications for activated new Apple devices.
The tech firm emphasized that for more than ten years, Apple App Store has been very safe and reliable to find and download applications. All applications in the Apple Store have been checked for compliance with privacy, security and content standards.
The Russian Ministry of Digital Development also said that the department is discussing with Apple the issue of adding a series of Russian applications to the App Store, including a list of mandatory pre-installed applications. If there are alternative applications on the market that are of interest to users and quickly become popular, they will be added to this list and pre-installed.
Russia passed a software pre-installation law in 2019. Since then, it requires that electronic products come pre-installed with applications developed by the country’s developers. Otherwise, they can’t obtain sales licenses. Due to the outbreak of the epidemic, the decree has been postponed twice. The last time, it was postponed to April 1 this year.
Apple Was On The Verge Of Leaving Russia
When discussing the decree, an Apple representative once said that it may lead to a change in Apple’s business model in Russia. Some experts interpreted this as Apple may withdraw from the Russian market. There was a ground for this. We mean the company’s policy does not support pre-installed third-party software.
Apple’s revenue in 2019 was 267.7 billion U.S. dollars. And its revenue in Russia reached 189.5 billion rubles (about 2.9 billion U.S. dollars). In January 2021, Apple’s smartphone sales in Russia ranked third (16% of the market). And its sales share was 45% (No. 1).
Dennis Kuskov, CEO of Telecom Daily, explained that the Russian market is small, but it is growing steadily for Apple. Local users have a high degree of loyalty to Apple devices. So Apple has reached a compromise in order not to leave the market.
It is worth mentioning that other manufacturers, especially those using Google’s Android operating system, such as Huawei smartphones, have already pre-installed local applications in Russia, even exceeding the prescribed number.