New legislation in Russia that will mandates all smartphones, computers and smart televisions to have Russian-made software pre-installed has been postponed, with provisions not kicking in until January 2021.
In a statement following assignment of the Crimea Peninsula to Russia in Apple Maps and Weather, Apple says that it will re-evaluate how it handles disputed borders going forward — but no changes have been made as of yet.
Following months of pressure from Moscow, Apple recently updated its Apple Maps and Weather apps to display Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia, inviting swift condemnation from Ukrainian politicians.
New legislation will require all smartphones, computers and even smart televisions to have Russian-made software included from July 2020. Supporters say it promotes local technology, but detractors believe that a fear of surveillance apps will make manufacturers pull out of Russia.
Amidst a contentious battle with the Russian government over demands to pull Telegram from the App Store, Apple on Friday approved an updated version of the messaging app after seemingly blocking such changes for two months.
Internet traffic coming into and out of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and other companies was briefly redirected through a Russian provider on Wednesday, in what appears to have been a deliberate move.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a new law that will ban virtual private networks (VPNs) and other technologies enabling anonymous access to the Web, likely signaling an impending wave of removals from Apple's regional App Store.
Russia's smartphone shipments grew 6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, but premium smartphones (over $600) in the country grew by 143 percent over the previous year, and Apple captured 81 percent of those sales.