Apple deleted a number of applications owned by VK (which is a former Mail. Ru Group) from AppStore. A social media platform VKontakte (which is one of the most popular platforms in Russia) is among the deleted applications. It should not affect already downloaded applications but Apple phone users may not be able to update or download VK application again. Experts say that Apple’s action will significantly increase users switching to Android smartphones.
Apart from deleting ‘VKontanke’, Apple also deleted Music, Mail, Cloud, News, Marusya assistant, and a number of other applications including games where VK was stated as a developer. However, a popular social media platform Odnoklassniki was not affected. It is assumed that the reason behind it is that it is classed as a separate entity – Odnoklassniki ltd.
The ban on VK applications could be the US endorsement that prohibits Apple from working with certain types of businesses.
VK could not explain the reason for its applications being removed from AppStore. VK sent a clarification request to Apple. The company’s press office said that the applications already installed on users’ smartphones will continue to operate. Later, the users were warned that they may encounter difficulties with notifications and payments in already installed applications of the VK ecosystem on iOS, which were removed from the AppStore.
Experts interviewed by ‘RG’ agree that the Apple ecosystem will be the only party affected by this situation. Apple’s actions create inconvenience for Russian citizens and the brand is increasingly losing its value.
Eldar Murtazin, a leading analyst at Mobile Research Group believes that eventually, people will voluntarily or involuntarily change their preferences to Android smartphones and the demand for iOS in Russia will be decreasing. The platform is interesting from advertisers’ point of view, but the residents are forced to switch to Android devices.