The Russian parliament passed a law popularly known as “a law against Apple” in November 2019. It requires that all smartphone makers pre-install a suite of apps that help the Russian government in loop with its citizens by getting the user’s information, their location, and their communications.
Apple is not the type of company that pre-installs a variety of third party apps on their phones. However, the Russian law goes into effect in July 2020, after which Apple will be forced to comply or quit selling their phones in the country. The value of the market Apple controls in Russia is estimated to be around $3 billion – something the company will lose.
The Putin government appears adamant to break the “free internet” in favour of a “sovereign internet”. The government actually has plans to build an internet that will help them with their needs. These moves will put Apple in difficult conditions which it would be unable to avoid unless it is ready to give up on the Russian market.
Apple has not made any comments on the upcoming Russian laws as of now. However, Fast Company claims that it got inside information from Apple that suggest that the company is not ready to accept these laws with open arms and will show some resistance. Because accepting these laws would change the fundamentals of Apple’s smartphone operating system that make it secure and robust.
The Cupertino based company Apple has always put privacy first and the CEO Tim Cook has in recent times talked at length about never giving up on privacy of its users. It would be a major blow to Apple loyalists if the company does decide to go ahead with the Russian laws in fear of losing the Russian market.
What do you think will happen come July 2020?