Two years after Apple quit Russia over Ukraine, Vision Pros are for sale in

The Javers Files: Apple Vision Pro in Moscow

WASHINGTON — Just one week after Russia launched its full-scale assault on Ukraine in 2022, Apple announced it was stopping exports of its products into the country. “We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” the company said in a statement on March 1, 2022.

But now, days ahead of the two-year anniversary of the invasion, stores in Moscow are bustling with Apple products – and Russian customers are making appointments to see demonstrations of the brand-new Apple Vision Pro at shops located just blocks from the Kremlin. 

Russians aren’t supposed to have access to the Vision Pro: The brand-new product, which was released on Feb. 2 and available in Moscow just days later, is only officially available for sale inside the United States. 

Asked about Vision Pro sales in Russia, an Apple spokesperson told CNBC, “As you are aware, Apple Vision Pro is only available at Apple Retail stores in the US.” 

But a CNBC survey of Russian websites and tech blogs as well as channel checks at stores in Moscow suggests that Apple’s statement doesn’t square with reality.  

The fact that customers in Moscow can buy the Vision Pro before people in London can officially do so is a high-profile demonstration of the difficulty of unraveling the global economy, and the nuanced decisions American companies have taken even as they express their horror over Russian atrocities in Ukraine. 

On the ground in Moscow, Apple products including MacBooks, iPhones and iPads are available in stores, although prices may be higher than they were pre-invasion. The Russian version of Apple’s tech support website is still active, but the official Apple Store website is offline, displaying a message in Russian saying, “The Apple Store is currently closed.” 

People stand in a “re:store,” an Apple resale store in a shopping center in St. Petersburg. Apple has suspended sales of its products in Russia because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. 

Igor Russak | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Still, at a retail outlet “re:Store,” (pronounced Ree-store) a former official Apple reseller offers Apple products for sale at shops in Moscow. The chain’s website features a large photo of a user strapped into an Apple Vision Pro, and the iconic bitten Apple logo with text reading, “Vision Pro: The era of spatial computers has come. Apple Vision Pro is already on sale.” 

At one re:Store location in Moscow, clerks offer by-appointment demonstrations of the new goggles, and the cheapest model Vision Pro is offered at about $6,307 — more than 57% higher than its retail price in the U.S.

Just one day after CEO Tim Cook took part in a splashy launch of the Apple Vision Pro at the company’s flagship store in New York, a well-known Russian tech blogger who goes by “Romancev768” posted a video to his more than 1 million followers, showing him unboxing his own Apple headset and demonstrating how…

Read More: Two years after Apple quit Russia over Ukraine, Vision Pros are for sale in

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