The iPhone will not receive any subsidies in Russia. Or, at least, it will not be subsidized in any way by Vimpelcom. The intention of the mobile operator of the largest of European countries was explicitly declared by Alexander Izosimov, CEO of the company operating on the market under the Beeline brand.
'In some countries – Izosimov told Reuters during a financial summit in Moscow – there are strong subsidies in exchange for very long contracts. We believe that this model cannot work in Russia. " To justify his choice Vimpelcom mentions the fact that local laws do not allow the operator block for a telephone.
If Beeline's customers really can't buy the phone with a grant, Russia will be the first country in the world where the iPhone will not be available even with a contribution from the operator to reduce the price. In some countries, such as Italy, the phone is also sold in a version released by the operator and there is no hardware lock, even in those with contracts. This choice could perhaps also have been applied in Russia, but probably the high numbers achieved by the Edge version of the iPhone sold in Russia with unauthorized unlocking and at very high prices, led Beeline to bet that even without any subsidy the numbers will be very high.
Among the stated objectives there would be to increase the use of data traffic than a really very low Russia and therefore increase profits. "Surveys show – Izosimov said – that once iPhone ends up in the hands of a customer, the amount of data it uses increases by four if not five times."
Recall that in Russia iPhone will be sold not only by Beeline but also by Megafon and Mobile Telesystems, in practice by all three of the largest local mobile operators. At the moment it is not clear whether Megafon and Mobile Telesystem will adopt the same Beeline strategy that will not subsidize iPhone or if they will follow the model in use in all other countries of the world.