With the Russian invasion of Ukraine showing no signs of stopping, Big Tech companies are stepping up to do what they can. This includes halting sales, services, and shipping to Russia. This list includes some of the largest players of the industries such as Google, Nike, Ford, Harley-Davidson, and now, Apple has joined the party and stands in solidarity with its fellow titans against the invasion.
After it imposed limitations for Apple Pay in Russia and removed several Russian news apps from the App Store outside of the country, the Cupertino-based tech giant has decided to freeze the sales of all Apple products in Russia.
This means that if you try to purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple devices from the Russian store, you will see a “delivery unavailable” result when trying to add a new product to the cart.
This is a fallout from the ongoing invasion, which is set to be one week long tomorrow, and has already claimed numerous casualties. Talks between the two countries yielded no effect, and the Indian government is scrambling to evacuate Indian students from the war-torn nation.
Apple confirmed the halt of its product sales, saying that it stands “with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence.”
This also comes after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov published an open letter to Apple, urging the tech giant to cut Russia off from its products, services, and App Store. He also urged the company to close the App Store in Russia, something the company has not done (yet). For now, all exports into Apple’s sales channel in the country has been stopped.
Apple is, by no means, the first company to make such a decision. MSC and Maersk, the largest shipping lines in the world, have already suspended container shipping to Russia, and Harley-Davidson has suspended its business and shipping bikes to the country. Ford has walked down a similar road, while Nokia said it would stop deliveries to Russia to comply with sanctions imposed.
Additionally, Netflix said that it will not be adding state-run channels to its Russian service. Russian regulations had required it to carry 20 free-to-air news, sports and entertainment channels in the country.
In an official statement, Apple said that it was deeply concerned about the invasion and are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all it can to support its teams in the region. Apart from putting a halt to product sales, the company has also removed the Russian Today (RT) and Sputnik apps (Russian news apps) from the App Store.
Like Google, it has also disabled traffic data for Maps users in Ukraine (including live incidents) as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.
Google has removed the Russian news apps as well, and soon, mobile banking apps in Russia may not function fully on devices using Apple’s iOS operating system. Going forwards, Apple will continue to evaluate the situation and is communicating with the governments of affected countries.
Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighted similar sentiments in a letter sent out to employees, providing information on how Apple employees could make donations.
Apple will be matching all donations at a rate of 2:1 for eligible organizations, retroactive for donations made since February 25.