Apple Online Store opens in Russia, establishes direct sales in key emerging market

Today, Apple has finally launched a version of its official online store for customers in Russia. The online store is similar in style to Apple’s online stores in other countries. Customers in Russia are now able to order iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macs, accessories, and more directly from Apple to their homes. Apple is celebrating the launch by taking up Apple Russia’s homepage to announce the new store

This online store is Apple’s first official sales presence in the country. The tech giant is yet to open up an official physical retail store in Russia, but several rumors have pointed to Apple being interested in Russian land. Apple’s ties to Russia have begun firming up over the past couple of years. Late last year, Apple expanded its iTunes Store to Russia, and made this announcement at a major media event in Moscow. In 2010, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev visited Steve Jobs at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

As forecasted by Apple job listings from earlier this year, the Apple Online Store for Russia is fully equipped with a live chat support team and interactive customer communications. The online store includes a panel for live chat in addition to features for chat operators to demonstrate and explain products to potential product buyers.

Russia has been regarded by many as a key emerging market in the technology industry. With Apple making strides to establish itself in emerging markets (such as China), opening direct sales in Russia is a critical move in Tim Cook’s quest to assert Apple as a globally dominant company. Apple is rumored to, later this year, ship a cheaper iPhone, which could assist in this goal.

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