Some of Apple’s top executives are headed to Russia this week to discuss how it sells its devices in the country.
Although Apple has yet to confirm what iPhone handsets it will launch next, the meetings are a sign of how Apple may be preparing to launch new, possibly cheaper devices, to revisit a market that has seen demand for its products, but also one where it has faced challenges working with carriers, the presence of a crazily-priced grey market and, according to eager distributors, short supply issues that do not meet demand.
Apple is said to be sending some of its top executives to meet with retailers in the country. Details of what will be discussed are limited, even to those involved.
“Apple is coming to town to talk to different retailers,” one source told TechCrunch. “There is going to be a discussion about getting more active in Russia with the iPhone. I assume the discussions will include models that will be launched here.”
Currently, Apple has a deal with Svyaznoy for distribution; however, they are a mobile phone retailer themselves. Competitors complain that they don’t get access to inventory and are hoping that Apple will add additional distribution methods.
Notably, it was just in June that Apple launched an online retail store in Russia for direct sales to customers. Recent reports say that the company has been investigating expansion opportunities in the country for some time.