iPhone 5C, 5S too pricey for Russian shoppers, report says

Apple's new high-end iPhone 5S costs about $960 in Russia, while the more modest iPhone 5C will set customers back $800.

The homepage for Apple's Russia store.
The homepage for Apple's Russia store. Apple

Apple's iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S might have some trouble gaining traction in Russia, a new report claims.

Speaking to Bloomberg in an interview on Friday, IDC analyst Simon Baker said that "if Apple really wants to compete with Samsung [in Russia], it should've come up with a much lower price for the 5C." According to Baker, Apple is selling the iPhone 5C for $800 in Russia, while the iPhone 5S retails for about $960.

Unlike in the US and many other countries around the world, Russia strictly forbids carriers from offering subsidies on smartphones. So when customers pick up a new handset, they need to pay full price. In the United States, by comparison, consumers can buy an iPhone 5C for $100, as long as they sign a two-year agreement with a carrier.

Since Russian customers don't have that same opportunity, buying an iPhone becomes cost-prohibitive for many in the country. Apple, which has just 8 percent market share in Russia, has watched its sales in the country slow to a crawl, Baker told Bloomberg. The iPhone 4S is this year's top-selling Apple smartphone in Russia, and that device retails for approximately $500.

Apple's new iPhones go on sale in Russia starting Friday.

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