Apple halts online sales after rouble crash

Plunge in value of the Russian currency making Apple products cheaper

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The Independent Online

American technology giant Apple has suspended online sales of its products in Russia citing a pricing review after the rouble went into freefall on Tuesday.

Apple blamed severe fluctuations in the value of the Russian currency, which plunged close to 20 per cent yesterday despite an emergency rate hike, for making prices too volatile and cheaper than the rest of Europe.

"Due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the ruble, our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience," Apple said in a statement.

Last month, the company increased the price of the iPhone 6 by 25 per cent after the decline of the rouble made it cheaper to buy in Russia than in the rest of Europe. Apple's online store acts as its main distribution channel since the company doesn't have physical stores in Russia.

Yesterday, the rouble came under intense pressure briefly plummeting to 80 roubles per dollar despite an emergency rate hike to 17 per cent from 10.5 per cent overnight. The Russian currency has lost more than half of its value against dollar so far this year as a result of falling oil prices and the impact of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

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