Apple may be on a brink of trouble in Russia where the third major operator has joined the other two and has quit selling the iPhone. After MTS and Megafon, Vimpelcom’s Beeline is next to stop selling Apple’s smartphone, citing the company’s harsh conditions as a reason for taking this route.
According to Russian Hi-Tech publication‘s Dmitry Ryabinin, this decision might be connected to the fact that Vimpelcom signed a contract with Samsung. “Moreover, Apple is getting ready to open its own retail store chain in Russia and is not interested in having many third-party vendors,” he added. Some three weeks ago, the Cupertino-based company launched its online store in Russia and may only go for folks looking to get an unlocked, SIM-free iPhone.
As you would imagine, losing major carriers is costing Apple market share, which has dropped from 9% in Q1 2012 to 8.4% in 2013. That still translates into millions of iPhones sold in Russia, but things could only turn worse from here. We’ll see whether something will change with the iPhone 5S and that cheaper model we’ve heard is coming…