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Apple Picks New Distributors in Russian Market

Published: September 14, 2013 (Issue # 1777)



  • Merlion and diHouse will replace the three major cell phone operators in Russia as the new Apple wholesale distributors.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Apple has made its picks of wholesale distributors in Russia, ending uncertainty about further sales of iPhones and iPads on the market, a news report said Friday.

Merlion and diHouse will serve as conduits of the gadgets here, replacing all three major cell phone operators that pulled out of their deals with the U.S. computer maker, Kommersant reported.

An IT industry source said the decision had been made, the newspaper said. Merlion chief Sergei Raskolov said only that the likelihood of his company to become an Apple wholesaler was "high."

DiHouse chief Yury Rodny declined comment, as did an Apple representative in Russia.

Mobile providers MTS, VimpelCom and Megafon in 2008 signed up to sell 1.5 million iPhone handsets each but the plans fell by the wayside. Megafon ended its agreement in 2010, MTS in 2012, and VimpelCom last summer.

Merlion is hoping to supply Apple devices to such retailers as Svyaznoi, Evroset and MTS retail outlets.

"The sales forecast that we proposed to Apple coincided with the desire of the corporation," Merlion's Raskolov said, declining to name the number.

Merlion is thought to be the country's largest distributor of computer equipment and electronics, having more than 200 distribution agreements in its portfolio, including with heavyweights like Samsung and Nokia.

DiHouse is part of major IT holding company Lanit.

Apple was reportedly in a rush to choose supply channels in Russia because it's about to start selling its new iPhone models, 5S and 5C. Raskolov said the new devices could hit the stores locally in November.





 


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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.