Russian flag on iPhoneSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Russian President Putin has signed legislation requiring phones to come pre-installed with Russian software.
  • The move will impact Apple among others.
  • An Apple source called it "equivalent to jailbreaking" iPhones.

Yesterday saw Russian President Vladimir Putin sign legistlation that will impact all smartphones sold in the country. As of July next year, all phones sold in Russia will have to come with pre-installed Russian software. It isn't yet clear what that software wil be, but an Apple source speaking with one Russian outlet (via MacRumors) isn't happy.

According to the report one unnamed Apple source told Kommersant that "a mandate to add third-party applications to Apple's ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking. It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk."

And that might be accurate, especially at a time when we don't know what the software will be. Some believe that the move will allow Russian software companies to better compete, but others think it may just give Russian authorities another way to keep tabs on the country's people. Russia already requires messaging services to hand over encryption keys, for example.

The new legistlation comes into play on July 1 2020, and it will be super interesting to see what Apple has to say about it in a more official capacity than an unnamed source. But the company has previously threatened to pull out of Russia, so now might be the time for Apple to put its rubles where its mouth us.