Apple unveiled the new iPhone 14 series at the September 7 event and when the lineup opened for pre-order on September 9, it was also available for pre-order in Russia.
In the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Apple shut down its business and services in the country and stopped the exports of new products as a protest like several other western companies.
Reuters reports that under Moscow’s new parallel import scheme, retailers can import products without the requirement of the trademark owner’s permission and that creates the “opportunity” to sell the iPhone 14 series in Russia without Apple’s approval.
Asked whether the new iPhone, unveiled by Apple on Wednesday, would be imported under the scheme, Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov said: “Why not? If consumers want to buy these phones, yes. There will be the opportunity.”
iPhone 14 models available in Russia for almost twice the price of the original cost
According to the report, a local mobile network took pre-orders of the iPhone 14 lineup but at a much higher price than the original cost and up to120 days (up to 4 months) delivery time.
iPhone 14 with 128GB retails for $799 and prices in Russia starts from 84,990 roubles equivalent to $1,398 for 128GB.
Russian mobile network MTS on Thursday morning was already selling the new iPhone 14 models on pre-order. Prices start from 84,990 roubles ($1,398) for the 128GB version.
MTS said delivery could take up to 120 days and it retained the right to cancel orders if it faced difficulties importing the products.
In addition to the new iPhone 14, the import scheme opens the door for selling other latest products by Apple like AirPods Pro 2, MacBook, and iPads in Russian, along with luxury clothes and cars.
iPhone, MacBook and other Apple goods have remained available in Russian stores as retailers sell down their remaining stock of old models and get hold of newly released devices through the import scheme.
Manturov, who is also a deputy prime minister, said last month that the scheme, which covers Western products ranging from luxury clothes to cars, could reach $16 billion in value this year, equivalent to around 4% of Russia’s 2021 imports.