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Russia to ban iPhones and other hardware not running Russian software

An employee helps a customer purchase an iPhone 11 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Russia has passed new legislation to make it mandatory for iPhones and other gadgets to come bundled with Russian-made software.

Devices sold in the country will have to pre-load Russian apps alongside the standard offerings in order to be sold.

Any phones without Russian software on them could be banned.

The legislation was passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament on Thursday.

‘When we buy complex electronic devices, they already have individual applications, mostly Western ones, pre-installed on them,’ said Oleg Nikolayev, one of the bill’s co-authors.

‘Naturally, when a person sees them… they might think that there are no domestic alternatives available,’ he said, according to BBC News.

‘And if, alongside pre-installed applications, we will also offer the Russian ones to users, then they will have a right to choose.’

Russia has increased control over its domestic internet in recent years (Photo by Konstantin Zavrazhin\\TASS via Getty Images)

However, not everyone is on board with the idea. Russia’s Association of Trading Companies and Manufacturers of Electrical Household and Computer Equipment has said it won’t be possible to install Russian software on certain devices before they hit the market. They say the legislation could mean companies like Apple – which controls both hardware and software for the iPhone – may leave Russia altogether.

This latest legislation comes after Russia has increased its control and limitation of the domestic internet.


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