"They're more in a dictatorship mode where they say, 'This is what you have to do or you don't get the iPhone.' Being arrogant with your partners in big markets doesn't pay off," said Vasyl Latsanych.
The problem is that the iPhone costs over $1,000 in Russia and is competing against other smartphones that can cost much less. Another MTS vice president, Michael Hecker, would like Apple to lower the iPhone's price or contribute to its subsidization. MTS would also like Apple to back off on the stringent retail demands it places on iPhone carriers.
"If Apple showed more flexibility, then they would have a higher penetration in our markets," Hecker said.
It's one thing thinking that a powerful company is a dictatorship, and quite another to actually come right out and say it. Perhaps, after realizing the possible repercussions of dissing the most influential high-tech company of our time, MTS backed off somewhat on its criticism.
"While we have differences with Apple, we have a constructive relationship," the company said in a statement. MTS serves over 100 million customers in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in the region.
After missing Apple watchers' iPhone sales estimates in the second quarter -- 26 million sold, compared with 28.4 million expected to be sold -- maybe Apple should rethink its corporate hubris, at least while Samsung is cleaning its clock in overall global smartphone sales.
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