Russian mobile operators stop selling Apple's iPhone, report says

MOSCOW, July 17 Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:29pm EDT

MOSCOW, July 17 (Reuters) - Russia's top three mobile operators, Megafon , MTS and Vimpelcom, have stopped selling Apple Inc's iPhone, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Vimpelcom ended negotiations with Apple over iPhone sales this month as the U.S. company would not soften its contract terms, the paper said, citing a person close to the operator.

MTS ended its contract in June but is in discussions with Apple about resuming iPhone sales, the paper said, citing the company without specifying who gave the information.

Megafon had ended its contract with Apple, the paper said, without citing a source.

MTS, Megafon, Vimpelcom and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The operators were hurt by the fact that Russia doesn't allow subsidies for handsets, making the phones too expensive for the average customer, the paper reported.

Apple, which has a 4.5 percent share of the Russian smartphone market, can still sell in Russia through its own resale stores and other mobile phone retailers, the Financial Times reported.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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