An anonymous Apple source reportedly told Kommersant Business Daily that Russia’s law to have Russian apps preinstalled on iPhones would be tantamount to jailbreaking, and as such poses a security risk (via IBTimes).
Russian President Putin signed into law a requirement that all electronic devices sold in the country had to have Russian software preinstalled onto the system. Unlike Android and Windows, Apple doesn’t allow any third-party app to be preinstalled on its devices.
The law was pitched as a way to help Russian companies compete with foreign companies, as well as spare consumers from needing to download software upon the purchase of a device.
With an authoritarian country like Russia, this move is a security threat as these apps would most likely be used to monitor peoples’ online activity. The country has already made similar moves like forcing search engines to censor some search results, requiring messaging apps to share encryption keys with the government, and having social media companies keep Russian user data on servers within the country.
The law goes into effect in July 1, 2020, so Apple has until then to decide what to do.