Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

iPhone to hit Russia officially priced at $900 and higher

Russia’s major mobile operators set the price on the telephone of the year, Iphone 3G by Apple. The iconic device will become available in Russia at the end of September. The new iPhone supporting the 3G network will be priced at 23,000 rubles ($920) for the 8Gb model and 27,000 rubles ($1080) for the 16Gb model.

The phones will be available with contracts, although they will not be pegged to a certain operator. Offices of Russia’s three major mobile operators – MTS, Vympelkom (Beeline) and Megafon confirmed that the prices had been set. The three companies that signed contracts with Apple plan to sell not less than 3.5 million iPhones in Russia during 2008-2009.

The official sales of the new device were launched in 22 countries of the world in the beginning of July and triggered iPhone mania all over the world. Apple expects to sell about 10 million devices globally before the end of the current year.

The Apple iPhone is an internet connected multimedia smartphone with a flush multi-touch screen and a minimal hardware interface. Lacking a physical keyboard, a virtual keyboard is rendered on the touch screen. The iPhone's functions include those of a camera phone and portable media player (equivalent to the iPod) in addition to text messaging and visual voicemail. It also offers Internet services including e-mail, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity. The first generation phone hardware was quad-band GSM with EDGE; the second generation also adds UMTS with HSDPA.

Apple announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007. The announcement was preceded by rumors and speculation that circulated for several months. The iPhone was initially introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007 and is in the process of being introduced worldwide. It was named Time magazine's Invention of the Year in 2007. On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G was released and supported faster 3G data speeds and Assisted GPS.