Apple's iPhone may be the gift to get, unless you're in Russia. Thanks to the wildly fluctuating (read: dropping) value of the ruble, Apple decided to stop selling products in the country through its online store. That's bad news for Apple customers, but it also underscores the overall market's current concerns over Russia's economy.
Dropping ruble prompts Apple to stop online sales in Russia
Apple halted online sales in Russia on Tuesday when the ruble dropped nearly 20 percent in value. Along with the ruble's fast drop, Russia saw the value of stocks and bonds take a sharp nose dive, too.
The company previously dealt with the ruble's fluctuating value by changing product prices, but the Tuesday's sharp drop was enough to convince Apple to stop sales while it sorts out exactly how to deal with the country's economic volatility.
Apple spokesperson Alan Hely told Bloomberg, "Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing."
If Apple chose to stop selling in Russia, it's a safe bet other companies are considering following suit. Depending on how many companies halt product sales, the effect on the country's economy could make it even more difficult for the ruble to rebound.
For Apple, the decision means fewer product sales, but it could prove to be a new win. Depending on how much money Apple was losing in the ruble to dollar or euro conversion, it's possible the company will actually come out ahead by not selling products in Russia.
Dealing with changing currency values can be part art and part science, and sometimes calls for drastic measures. In Apple's case, that means shutting down online sales in Russia, and for Russia it means big name companies are losing faith in its economy.