Apple Reportedly Agrees To Preinstall Russian Software On Gadgets
March 16, 2021
Russian media are reporting that Apple has agreed to sell its gadgets in
Russia with preinstalled Russian-made software to comply with a law that
comes into force on April 1.
A report by the Vedomosti newspaper on March 16 cited a source in
Russia's Ministry of Digital Development and Communications (Mintsifra)
as saying that starting next month, customers with newly bought Apple
gadgets will be able to choose from a number of applications approved by
the Russian government. Those applications not chosen will not be
Vedomosti said official representatives of Apple confirmed the decision.
On Android smartphones, meanwhile, there will be no choice and all
Russian software and applications will be preinstalled.
The source at the ministry said officials are also in talks with Apple
on the possibility of buying Russian-made applications through the Apple
other applications, Russia's Mail.ru e-mail, the Kaspersky Lab antivirus
program, the Odnoklassniki and VKontakte social networks, and the MIR
payment system, will be preinstalled to the gadgets as of April 1.
On March 15, the Kommersant newspaper reported that the law is expected
to be updated to oblige international companies to preinstall Russian
browsers as well on their electronic products.
Russian officials have said that the goal of the move is to support
domestic technology and help Russian citizens use the gadgets they buy.
However, Kremlin-critics have expressed concerns about possible
surveillance through the apps, or that the requirement will be an
impediment to international electronic giants working in the Russian