Apple Lays Russian Groundwork

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Investors typically don't hear too much about Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) in Russia. That's because Apple doesn't have much presence in the country since it doesn't offer direct sales or retail stores there. Besides, when it comes to the emerging BRIC markets, the iPhone maker is focusing most heavily on China and Brazil for the time being.

But certainly the company will eventually head to Russia, and Apple is reportedly laying some groundwork in preparation. TechCrunch has gotten its hands on a media invite sent out to a handful of people for an iTunes even in Moscow to be held tomorrow evening. In all likelihood, investors could be looking at an official iTunes launch in Russia this month, which is slightly delayed from a couple months ago.

Apple has been working to launch its flagship digital storefront in Russia, but reportedly ran into hurdles with licensing negotiations.

Content has always been a part of Apple's broad strategy to boost unit sales of iDevices. The company operates its content stores just above breakeven, with the hardware generating the real margins. That's why an iTunes launch in Russia could be an important precursor to the day that Apple tackles the country. Apple launched iTunes in Brazil a year ago, but has yet to do so in China (likely due to the regulatory environment).

Russian carrier Mobile Telesystems (NYSE: MBT  ) , which currently boasts nearly 71 million subscribers in the country (about half of the population), estimates that Apple's unit share in the third quarter was 7.2%. That's up from 5.7% a year ago, but still lagging players like Samsung and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) . Samsung's position has soared to 44% of the market, mostly at the expense of Nokia, which currently claims a 17.8% slice.

Apple still has a lot of work to do to grow its share in Russia, but an iTunes launch is a start.

There is absolutely no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2136914, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 9:36:17 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 12 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.27 -53.76 0.00%
S&P 500 2,143.16 -8.17 0.00%
NASD 5,283.40 -26.43 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $118.25 Up +0.60 +0.00%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
MBT $7.61 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Mobile TeleSystems… CAPS Rating: ****
NOK $4.97 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Nokia CAPS Rating: **