Late Tuesday, word broke that Apple is suspending all online product sales in Russia.
Apple points to “extreme” ruble fluctuations as the reason for its action, which comes as other multinational companies similarly explore how massive currency swings should be addressed in their business operations.
The iPhone and iPad maker stopped sales from its Web store as Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem a run on the currency. The ruble briefly sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled.
“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for Apple, was quoted by Bloomberg late last night. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”
For now, it isn’t clear when Apple will resume business as usual in Russia. But the company, rest assured, will be watching the Russian market very closely as it weighs a return or a protracted absence.