Way in the late 80’s, American children were inundated with stories of how Russian’s would wait in line for hours for a single loaf of bread. Flash forward to 2010 and those lines may still be in existence, only this time it’s Apple’s iPad that everyone’s after. Well, to be fair, long lines is quite an overstatement, but we digress.
This past Wednesday, the iPad went on sale in Russia via 3 local chains – M. Video, Bely Veter, and re:Store. Distribution, though, appears to be limited as M. Video for example is reportedly selling the iPad in only four cities – one of which is Moscow. Across all 3 chains, the iPad will only be available in 4 other cities – Sait Petersburg, Volgograd, Rotsov-on-Don, and Kazan. And with no official Apple retail presence in the country just yet, initial supply of the iPad will fall somewhere in the 3,000 to 4,000 unit range.
The base model iPad (16GB+WI-Fi) costs approximately $652 in the land of Drago while the 64GB 3G model will set you back about $1,077. And though this is the first time iPad’s have officially gone on sale in Russia, there has been a vibrant “grey market” for Apple’s tablet device for months now. Indeed, any country that has to wait around for a brand new Apple product tends to develop an underground market where folks are willing to pay exorbitant prices to get their hands on the latest devices from Apple. Before the official iPad launch, for example, the asking price on an iPad was upwards of 100,000 rubles, or approximately $3,200 per device. Now that’s some Apple dedication right there.