Apple launched its online store for Russian customers on Wednesday, bringing online ordering to the world’s ninth most populous nation. Apple is offering its full lineup of products to Russian customers.
Apple was reported last August to be preparing to begin direct sales in Russia, with the possibility of brick and mortar retail stores following in the future. Apple was reportedly unhappy with its distribution network in the country, particularly with regard to the iPhone, and those distribution issues appear to have spurred Apple to launch its own direct sales there.
Apple hired team members for the Russian online store earlier this year, although the positions are actually based in Cork, Ireland. The company does have a presence in Moscow however, where it handles the iTunes Store, marketing, business sales, and carrier relations among other functions.
The store is equipped with a live chat support team, and includes a panel for live chat. It also includes interactive features that allow chat operators to demonstrate and explain products to customers.