Apple Calls New Russian Smartphone Sales Legislation 'Equivalent to Jailbreaking'

Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed new legislation requiring all smartphones, computers, and smart TVs sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software, reports Reuters.


Proponents of the law claim it will help Russian developers better compete with foreign tech firms. The legislation has also been pitched as a way of sparing consumers from having to download software after purchasing a new device.

Electronic retailers have already criticized the law, which is due to come into force on July 1 next year, and say the legislation was adopted without consulting them. The law has also sparked fears that Russia could use the pre-installed apps as a way to spy on its citizens.

It's still unclear how tech companies will react to the news, although Apple has previously threatened to pull out of the Russian market if a complete ban on selling its products without pre-installed apps was introduced, Russian media reported earlier this year.

Responding to today's news of the law, an unnamed Apple source reportedly told the Kommersant business daily: "A mandate to add third-party applications to Apple's ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking. It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk."

According to The Moscow Times, the government will draw up a list of software which tech companies will need to pre-install, and a list of the devices covered by the law, expected to include computers, tablets and smart TVs alongside mobile phones.

The Russian government has cracked down on internet freedoms in recent years, including requiring messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store user data on servers in the country.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Russia

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
8 months ago
Meanwhile, they bend to China's demand that allows people to be imprisoned or killed with little to no cause.

Too bad Russia doesn't build any of their stuff, then they'd follow the money and just comply and then defend the decision to comply!

Apple is lost.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
I actually really want to see Apple pull out of the Russian market.

Then, i want to see China demand that all smartphones have government mandated apps preinstalled.

Would Apple pull out of the Chinese market? Or would they make an exception/excuse for China? That would be fun to watch.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


LOL. Money is more important than privacy to companies, EVEN Apple. They'll stay in the Russian market, comply, and sugar coat the entirety of the program with the purpose of the software.

Honestly, Russia isn't that big of a country for this to matter.

People think Russia is like China. It's not, it's far more like Italy.

Apple pulling out of Russia would be a power move and a worthwhile tactic, IMHO.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


Pull out of China, Russia, Saudi and every other dictatorship... If every company did this we’d probably be living in a better world today, but money is all that matters.

NSA. PRISM. Mass surveillance. Secret courts issuing National Security Letters. Guantanamo.

But sure, it's always the other countries that do the really, really bad things that violate everybody's rights.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
As a Russian I can say this:

First, Apple already hardly operates in Russia - for example, there is not a single Apple store here at all, all the phones are sold through third-party resellers.

Second, it's typical for the Russian government to pass completely retarded laws and then roll them back because, well, of their sheer stupidity.

For example:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarovaya_law
A law that would require mobile operators to keep ALL DATA that goes through Russian phones on their servers, which would result in a threefold (!!!) increase of mobile services prices. A sheer madness of a legislation that was passed and then quickly rolled back.

Similarly, when Telegram refused to provide the encryption keys to the Russian government, it started blocking ALL the websites and DNS servers linked to telegram - Google servers, Amazon servers, Google itself (!), which hilariously resulted in around 10% of Russian online stores and tons of websites getting blocked for no reason, but not telegram itself.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theregister.co.uk/AMP/2018/04/17/russia_blocks_google_aws_ip_addresses_to_get_telegram/
Needless to say, all this was quickly rolled back and Telegram is as operational as ever.

So I would actually prefer Apple to officially say they would not operate under such laws, as I believe the public indignation will quickly bring them back.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


The legislation has also been pitched as a way of sparing consumers from having to download software after purchasing a new device.

I can’t believe they say this stuff with a straight face.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Some iPhone Users Report Significant Battery Drain Due to Music App Background Activity in iOS 13.5.1

Wednesday July 8, 2020 1:49 am PDT by
A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities and Reddit to report battery drain issues largely related to the Music app and high levels of background activity. Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over...