The move is a Clear Reaction to the Invasion of Ukraine.
Apple is doing more than just turning down services in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. After cutting off shipments last week, the IT business has ceased "all product sales" in Russia, according to BuzzFeed News' John Paczkowski. Every product in the company's Russian online store is marked as unavailable. Apple made it plain that this was in response to the invasion, saying that it "stand
with all of the people" who have been harmed by the intrusion and that it is joining those who are "asking for peace."
Beyond the sales freeze, the firm said it has taken a number of steps. Apple Pay was restricted, and the state-run media channels RT and Sputnik had their apps removed from the App Store. Apple likewise followed Google's lead and disabled traffic data (including live incidents) for Maps users in Ukraine to avoid disclosing information that could put Ukraine citizens in danger. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, had called on Apple to halt sales and shut down the whole App Store.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th, Google, Meta, and other tech companies have blocked or removed services in Russia. Apple, on the other hand, is known for withdrawing products from the market - it's ready to give up its tangible stake, at least for the time being.
This is a significant, albeit limited, sacrifice. Apple's annual revenue from Russia is expected to be over $2.5 billion in 2020, according to estimates. Even if it just accounts for 0.9 % of Apple's total sales in that year, that's a big number for most corporations. Apple would not have gained anything by staying in the current situation.
The incursion and subsequent international sanctions caused the ruble's value to plummet, making Apple's products even more difficult to get in the country. The halt will have an impact on Apple's bottom line, but not to the extent that some have predicted.