Apple slashes prices as ruble strengthens

Apple has cut prices for products like the iPhone 6 in Russia in the wake of a rising ruble.

The cost of an iPhone 6 Plus on its Russian website has been slashed to 55,990 rubles ($1,123) from 61,990 rubles, marking a near-10 percent drop from a month earlier. A screenshot from March 24 also showed a 5,000 ruble cut for the iPhone 6, though the cost of accessories including Beats headphones and keyboards held steady.

An iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple store
Adrees Latif | Reuters

It comes after Apple hiked Russian prices by 35 percent in December on the heels of a 50 percent dive in the ruble from a year earlier.

The tech giant temporarily halted sales on Dec. 17, due to currency volatility.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

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A ruble recovery?

"The 'calming' in eastern Ukraine," high interest rates and a stabilization of oil prices have helped strengthen the Russian currency against the dollar in recent months, Simon Quijano-Evans, Commerzbank's head of emerging markets research, explained via email.

But a rising ruble might not be music to Moscow's ears.

"Authorities will probably want to avoid an acceleration in the ruble's strength, which essentially means that the central bank needs to cut rates again in a meaningful way, with at least 200 bp to come end-April, and perhaps even an extraordinary meeting delivering a cut beforehand," Quijano-Evans predicted.

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Commerzbank's year-end forecast currently stands at 50 rubles against the dollar.

"We do think that a reaction by the authorities, coupled with expectations of a Fed rate hike will lead to a calming in the appreciation trend," he said.

"However, if this continues in spite of central bank action, we are going to have revise our forecasts towards a stronger ruble."