Monday, June 16, 2008

3G iPhone to Reach Russia This Year

Steve Jobs has told CNBC that Apple is in talks with Russia and that an iPhone deal should close this year. "We just didn't have a chance to close [a deal] with Russia. And I think you'll see [agreements] happen later this year."

The Moscow Times reports that not having a distribution agreement with local mobile operators made it impossible for the coveted handsets to go on sale officially. In the absence of a distribution network, a flourishing black market for iPhones has sprung up in Russia, where there are already an estimated 300,000 users.

"About 20,000 iPhone handsets are brought into the country in suitcases every month," Eldar Murtazin, editor of Moscow-based Mobile Research Group said. "The current model, which sells officially in six countries for a marked-up $399, currently sells for about $1,000 in Moscow."

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