Russia’s economy is facing a deep uncertainty today, with various reports noting wild fluctuations in the Ruble and uncertainty regarding Ukraine. Foreign currency orders are in huge demand as citizens attempt to move their existing funds to something more stable. Imported goods are another matter entirely, with the market instability causing some businesses to proceed with caution. One company not proceeding at all is Apple, who have stopped online sales in Russia due to “extreme” fluctuations in the Ruble. Apple is currently in a holding pattern, and says their Russian store is being reviewed.
What Apple is reviewing is pricing. They’d previously hedged their bets on the unstable Ruble by padding iPhone pricing by 25%, according to Bloomberg.
The Ruble has seen larger peaks and valleys than usual today, with reports of the value plummeting more than 80 to the dollar, and 100 to the euro.
In response, the Russian Central Bank has hiked interest rates from 10.5% to 17%. That rallied the ruble for a short time, and helped stabilize the market slightly.
Speaking to analysts on October 20, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said Apple has “a comprehensive hedging program in place that mitigates the impact of foreign exchange”. That program likely didn’t account for the Russian economic crisis.
Maestri said their hedging program is under constant re-evaluation, because hedging against currency fluctuations is an evolving gambit. Rather than come up with a new plan, Apple has decided to call a full timeout.
For now, there is no Apple in Russia. When they may return is still up for debate.