iPhone Is an Expensive Drug, Says Russian Mobile Chief

U.S. telecom executives are cautious about speaking their minds when it comes to tech heavyweights like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), but not Mikhail Shamolin, president of MTS, Russia’s largest cellphone company.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal editorial staff, he said the negotiations to bring the iPhone to Russia last fall were like “the negotiations of a junkie and a narcotics salesman,” because of the pent-up demand for the device.

But “Apple was operating on a take-it-or-leave-it strategy,” he said, resulting in a high price–about $1,000–that puts it out of reach for many Russians, since operators in the country don’t subsidize handsets.

The largest wireless operators in Russia all offer the iPhone 3G now, but they’ve only sold “a few hundred thousand” units, Mr. Shamolin said, because of the price tag and the dwindling supply of consumer financing amid the global financial crisis. Such credit “was one way to sell iPhones and that went away with the crisis,” Mr. Shamolin said.

Read the rest of this post


Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »