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In Soviet Russia, Apple is dictatorship to carriers?

Apple and carriers make sure the iPhone is subsidized in the United States, even though it still costs a pretty penny, but a new report by Bloomberg shows Americans should probably be grateful.

Russia does not have the same subsidized iPhone pricing, so its 64 GB iPhone 4S costs roughly $1242 USD through the country’s largest carrier, OAOMobile TeleSystems, otherwise known as MTS. The 8 GB iPhone 4, which will soon be two generations outdated, boasts a hefty $800 USD price tag.

“They’re more in a dictatorship mode where they say, ‘This is what you have to do or you don’t get the iPhone,’” said MTS Vice President of Marketing Vasyl Latsanych to Bloomberg. “Being arrogant with your partners in big markets doesn’t pay off.”

MTS Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development Michael Hecker explained Russia’s smartphones penetration is slated to jump from 15.4-percent in Q1 2012 to 60 percent by the end of 2014.

“If Apple showed more flexibility then they would have a higher penetration in our markets,” contended Hecker.

As TechCrunch noted, Apple CEO Tim Cook dodged questions about the iPhone’s steep price in emerging markets during the Q3 2012 earnings call. The executive reiterated “great products” as the company’s goal when developing those regions.

Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive made similar comments during yesterday’s Creative Summit across the pond, where he said revenue does not drive the folks in Cupertino but rather “great products” do. He explained the company is “pleased with revenues,” and its goal is again not “to make money.”


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