MOSCOW, July 18 Vimpelcom, one of
Russia's top mobile operators, will no longer sell Apple Inc's
iPhone, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday,
after similar moves by other mobile companies in Russia.
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.
The Financial Times also reported that Russian operators MTS
and Megafon have halted iPhone sales.
A representative for MTS told Reuters that the
company's contract to sell iPhones ended in September 2012, so
it did not purchase the latest model, the iPhone 5. But it did
continue to sell older models of iPhones in stock.
MTS is actively pushing sales of Apple's tablet computer the
iPad, as it sees a huge potential for such products in Russia,
the representative said.
A spokesman for Megafon said on
Wednesday that it has not sold iPhones since 2009.
Vimpelcom and Apple did not immediately respond to requests
The operators were hurt by the fact that Russia does not
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