MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) — American hi-tech giant Apple has significantly increased the prices of its products in the Russian market, according to the company’s online store website.
Since November 24, the website has been unavailable for customers to make orders, and prices were not displayed. On November 26, the company revealed the updated price information.
On average, prices rose by 25-27 percent. Earlier, it was reported the company planned to advance prices for its devices in Russia; however, definite numbers were unknown.
Now, for example, the iPhone 6 with a minimum 16 GB memory storage carries a price of 39,990 rubles, 8,000 rubles higher than its previous price.
The iPhone 6 Plus phablet with the same storage will cost 46,990 rubles, 10,000 rubles higher than before. Older iPhone models have also become more expensive with the iPhone 5S starting at 29,900 rubles and iPhone 5C at 19,900.
Moreover, the price increase affected Apple’s iPad tablets. The brand-new iPad Air 2 experienced a 4,000-5,000 ruble increase, now costing 28,490 rubles with the minimal configuration. Older iPads have also become more expensive.
Finally, Apple increased the price of its MacBook laptops and iMac computers. The price of the iMac with Retina display rose by 20,000 rubles, while the price of the high-end MacBook Pro with Retina display rocketed by 24,000-36,000 rubles.
The price increase covers all of Apple’s products, as well as repair services at authorized service centers.
According to the user’s agreement, in case of price increases all previously made orders will maintain their old prices.
Such a move by Apple was a responsive measure to the recent currency fluctuations. Since early September, the Russian ruble has depreciated by 17 percent to the US dollar. As a result, the price of the new iPhone 6 in Russia turned out to be one of the lowest worldwide.
The price increase may seriously affect demand for Apple products in Russia, according to some experts.
"I think the demand will dramatically decline," Alexander Malis, president of Evroset Retail Company, said as cited by RBC. "Perhaps, a drop would not be visible before the New Year holidays. However, in first quarter of 2015, the demand would fall at least twice."
According to Eldar Murtazin, Mobile Research Group chief analyst, iPhone sales would drop by 25-30 percent.
"Apple’s competitors did not start to increase prices of their products. On the contrary, they are even bringing them down. A gap in prices between Apple and other companies is getting huge," Murtazin noted as quoted by RBC.
At the same time, Michael Tuch, CEO at Svyaznoy Company, believes the situation would be optimistic.
"Apple is a love-brand for Russian customers, so the first emotional reaction to the price increase would not lead to a massive sales drop. Apple is in a high price segment of the market, and its customers are very loyal to price hikes," Tuch was quoted as saying by RBC.
After Apple increased prices, Samsung, its main competitor in the smartphone market, could take advantage of the situation, Kommersant newspaper assumes.
The South Korean company has cut down prices of some of its smartphones.
"We act against the tide. We cut down prices for some products of our line-up," Arkady Graf, head of Samsung Mobile Russia, told the Russian News Service radio station. "The decrease is significant and will make all customers happy."
According to Graf, the price decrease will cover Samsung flagmanship smartphones, including the Galaxy S5. The company hopes the measure will help sales grow by 30 percent.