"The Law Against Apple passed its first reading

06 November 2019

The State Duma passed in the first reading a law that imposes serious restrictions on the sale of computers and smartphones in Russia. It obliges hardware manufacturers to pre-install Russian software on their devices.

Experts call this initiative "the law against Apple", because iOS does not allow installing third-party software. Even at the stage of the project's discussion Apple representatives said that as soon as the law enters into force, the company will simply leave the Russian market. Its share in the total sales volume of the manufacturer is not so significant as to make any additional efforts.

Apple still does not intend to revise its position. In this case, Russian lawmakers are confident that the law does not conceal anything terrible. They draw their optimism from the experience of China, where the introduction of a similar initiative has not caused any serious changes in the market. However, industry experts are sure that China is not the best example; it has the instruments to influence large corporations, whilst Russia has no such instruments.

If the bill is adopted in all three readings, the restrictions will take effect on July 1, 2020. The government will define the list of mandatory software later, most likely it will include browsers and search engines. For their absence, the device manufacturers will pay a fine of 200 thousand rubles.

It is obvious that Russian consumers are unlikely to completely abandon Apple devices, no matter how much the legislators want it. So the law will simply take sales out of the legal field.