Russian business magazine Kommersant was first to reveal that the Kremlin had advised some Russian officials to give up their Apple iPhones by the end of March due to computer security concerns.
According to the Russian daily, which cites sources present at the conference, the command was given at a seminar in the Moscow region earlier this month.
According to the publication, employees have been instructed to switch from their iPhones to smartphones with alternative operating systems, such as Android, its Chinese equivalents, or Aurora, an operating system created by Russian company Open Mobile Platform.
A participant in the seminar reportedly said, “It’s over for the iPhone: throw it away or give it to the kids.
Officials have apparently been instructed to replace their iPhones by April 1 by Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy director of Russia’s presidential administration.
The purported directive was reportedly sent since campaigning for Russia’s impending 2024 presidential election is underway. Shortly after Russia seized Ukraine last year, Apple already banned imports to that country.
A week after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Apple stopped selling its products there. Still, rumors emerged a few months later claiming that Russians were still buying the latest iPhone 14 through authorized parallel import programs. These import systems, which allowed sellers to bring goods into the country without the consent of the brand owner, were reportedly made legal in Russia a few months after the dispute began.
It’s unclear if all members of the Russian government have received the same advice to dispose of their Apple iPhones, although members of the Russian presidential administration have supposedly received it.
Prior to the publication of this article, a request for comment from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States did not receive an immediate response. Reuters reported that Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin press secretary, advised journalists against using their smartphones for professional purposes.
No matter what operating system a smartphone uses, like iOS or Android, he claimed it all has a very visible process. They are naturally not employed in official functions.
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