updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri August 5, 2011
Carriers worried about countering gray market
The iPhone 5 may go on sale in Russia in November, says local publication RBC Daily. The information is reported to come from unspecified cellphone retailers. Regional cellphone operators, though, are said to be in negotiations with Apple about speeding up deliveries to the country, which like China has often received Apple products several months after their US debut.
In particular the concern is said to be gray-market sales. Both Russia and China have been home to substantial gray markets for Apple products in recent years, sustained to no small degree by the gaps in global release windows. iPhones and iPads are also often seen as status symbols which the rich or middle classes are willing to pay a premium for.
The iPhone 5 -- not yet an official name -- is widely expected to go on sale in the US in September. At roughly the same time it should ship to several other countries, such as Canada, Japan and the UK. At least one report has suggested that China could join this group, which would help diffuse problems with gray-market buyers exporting US devices.