Apple launched the online Apple Store in Russia on Wednesday, the first time the company has offered direct sales in the country. Apple launched the store with the Cyrillic greeting, "привет, рунет," which tranlsates as "Hello, RU-net" or "Hello, Internet."
The company put the same message on its Russian home page, complete with the same graphic themes.
Apple Online Store is in Russia Now"
Russia is one of the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), meaning that it's a massive emerging market. The country ranks 47th in GDP per capita for 2012 (US$14,247), but there is a vast discrepancy between the very wealthy and the poor, and Russia struggles with rampant corruption and powerful organized crime.
The country also has several large and cosmopolitan cities, but doesn't yet have a brick and mortar Apple Store.
All of which means that it is a market that represents major upside for a company like Apple. The company is rumored to be working on less expensive entry-level iPhone model tailor made for the BRIC nations, and the online Apple Store could help the country expand sales.