Russian retailers to start Apple iPhone sales Oct 3

A man holds his new Apple iPhone 3G at Telcel Center in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata in this August 22, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Major Russian home electronics and cell phone retailers said on Friday they would kick off Apple Inc's AAPL.O iPhone sales in Russia beginning on October 3, and estimated that 150,000 units could be sold by year end.

“All retailers will begin sales of iPhone in Russia at the same time, during the night between October 2 and October 3. Our company will be also selling them,” Nadezhda Senyuk, a PR director at retail chain Tekhnosila, said by telephone.

Rival chain Eldorado and MVID.MM, Russia's only listed electronics retailer, said in separate statements they would start selling Apple's newly launched 3G iPhone on October 3.

Eldorado estimated overall sales of the handset in Russia to reach 150,000 before the end of 2008, of which it plans to sell about 15,000.

It will sell the iPhone with 8 gigabytes of storage capacity for 22,999 roubles ($923.6) and with 16 gigabytes for 26,999 roubles ($1,084) -- the same price as Russian mobile phone operators will charge for the iPhone, without a contract.

The 'Big Three' carriers, MTS MBT.N, Vimpelcom VIP.N and MegaFon, had earlier reached a distribution deal with Apple and are currently taking advance orders.

Reporting by Anastaisa Teterevleva and Maria Plis; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Sue Thomas