Apple has launched a long-anticipated Russian online storefront
. The website marks the first time Russians will be able to buy directly from Apple, since the company has yet to open a retail store in the country. The Russian online store has most of the same services as its counterparts in countries like the US, including chat and phone support.
One missing element is an easy return scheme. Because Apple lacks local stores, Russians must return any unwanted goods via mail, or via an authorized third-party service provider in the case of defective hardware.
Although Apple has sold products in Russia for some time, until now the company has been dependent on third parties for sales and service of physical goods. Even iTunes music sales only started in the country in late 2012, when Apple made a major international expansion reaching some 56 more regions.