Russia now requires that all devices in the country utilise Russian software only. This includes smartphones, computers and smart TV’s all of which must be pre-installed with Russian software before they can be sold and used in the region. This came into effect on 1st April 2021 and is believed to help Russian software companies compete with international ones.
While some locals argue that it is a law against Apple, as it doesn’t allow for the use of its software. Apple agreed last month to allow people to install Russian software when their phones are being set up.
The company said it would offer apps from Russian developers to users as they start to activate and set up their new phones, but said that all apps are checked to make sure they meet Apple’s own privacy and security policies.
Russian officials are also in talks with Apple on the possibility of buying Russian-made applications through the Apple Store. The goal is to support domestic technology and help Russian citizens use the gadgets they buy. Computers with Microsoft and smart TVs are also required to have Russian software and browsers installed.
Critics have expressed concerns about the possibility of surveillance through the apps and that the requirement may impede international electronic giants working in the Russian market. Russia has been aiming to crack down on US tech companies in the country and strengthen its reliance on its government-controlled ‘sovereign internet’.