Apple Allows Russia to Pre-Install Domestic Apps on Devices

Apple has agreed to pre-install Russian apps on all its devices activated within the country starting April 1, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday. 

The Russian-developed software will include messengers, internet browsers, antivirus software, email, food delivery and taxi-hailing apps, Vedomosti reported. 

According to the agreement, all users who turn on an Apple device purchased in Russia will see a dialog box where they will be prompted to install default apps from a government-approved list, a high-ranking source in the Russian Digital Development Ministry told Vedomosti. 

Users can choose not to install certain apps by unchecking the box next to their names, the ministry official told Vedomosti. 

Russia passed amendments to its consumer rights protection law in 2019 which make the pre-installation of Russian software mandatory on all iPhones, Mac laptops and computers, iPads and Apple TVs sold in Russia from April 1, 2021. 

Apple has previously spoken out against the law and threatened to leave the Russian market if the law entered into force. However, the tech giant decided to comply with local legislation as Apple products remain highly popular in the country.  

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