Wednesday, March 2, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple Halts Sales in Russia

Juli Clover:

Apple today confirmed that it has stopped all product sales from its online website in Russia, which means customers in Russia can no longer purchase Macs, iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. Attempting to make a purchase from the Russia store results in a “delivery unavailable” result when trying to add a product to the online cart.

[…]

Apple said in a statement that it has also stopped all exports into the sales channel in the country and disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.

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As of now, App Store access has not been eliminated in Russia, but Apple Pay has been limited and major banks in Russia are not able to use the service. RT News and Sputnik News have been removed from the App Store outside of Russia, in addition to Apple’s other measures.

Adam Engst:

Nothing I can say or do will have any impact on the actual conflict, but I wanted to remind readers that this is not just some tempest in a teapot on the other side of the world. Ukraine has a flourishing Apple development community that’s home to MacPaw (Setapp, Clean My Mac X, Gemini, and more), BeLight Software (Live Home 3D, Swift Publisher, and more), Readdle (PDF Expert, Spark, and more), CS Odessa (ConceptDraw), and Skylum (Luminar), among others.

Update (2022-03-07): Ben Thompson:

While it has been only 11 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, it is already clear that the long-term impact on the tech industry is going to be substantial. The goal of this Article is to explore what those implications might be.

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This is an incomplete list! The key thing to note, though, is few if any of these actions were required by law; they were decisions made by individual companies.

6 Comments

Add FSNotes to that list, the best note taking app for Mac IMHO (I've been using Simple Note, NValt, Just Notes and others before, there's also and iOS app with syncing). It's made by a single developer in the Ukraine and he recently tweeted:

My city under fire from the Russian army. FSNotes development has been suspended indefinitely. We are in a bomb shelter. I hope they don't kill me and the release will still take place someday.

Apple uses Ukraine based developers for a lot of contract work on internal projects/tools/etc.
Eg https://www.griddynamics.com lists Apple as their customer and sources lots of contracts in Ukraine.

Old Unix Geek

A lot of companies (like griddydynamics) contract both to Russia and Ukraine, and no doubt Belarus, because they have some great engineers.

This war and associated sanctions are going to cause quite a lot of mayhem, and harm a lot of people. It is ironic that many of the more pro-Western people in these countries will lose their livelihoods, and thus what little influence they have on the direction their countries develop in.

It sounds trite, but I hope things sort themselves out quickly for the best.

Somehow it reminds me of one of the best ZX Spectrum emulators "Warajevo", which was developed during the siege of Sarajevo.

https://worldofspectrum.net/warajevo/Story.html

Old Unix Geek

Moscow was foolish enough to make ApplePay a mode of payment for its subways, and ApplePay is an interface over a Visa/Mastercard back end. So that no longer being operative also results in long queues to pay in cash.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/03/fog-of-financial-sanctions-visa-and-mastercard-shutdown-in-russia-whacks-consumers.html

ApplePay still works for some banks, and GooglePay does too.
Vast majority of plastic cards have contact-less pay feature, thus there is no need to use cash in the subway, and most of the people actually pay for transportation using special transit cards anyway.
But it's all minor things compare to all other turmoil there.

What is important is for Apple to have apps like telegram and other out-of-reach-for-kremlin apps available, that help to combat government propaganda. Complete pull-out would just leave people with fewer ways to resist the dictatorship.
So far it seems that Apple's decisions are sensible and reasonable.

JD Bolander

Let’s also please not forget the Mac developer, MacKiev (www.mackiev) and their staff who make popular kids titles like Print Shop, Kid Pix, Mavis Beacon, and Family Tree Maker.

They have a post on how to help:
https://support.mackiev.com/079988-Ways-to-Support-Ukraine

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