The rumors are true – Russian government officials have ditched their iPads and switched to Samsung tablets. Russia’s Minister of Telecom confirmed it happened “not so long ago.”
This comes as no surprise amidst growing fears of US spying. Tensions are high, especially after the Crimea situation. While Apple denies aiding government snooping, Russia is skeptical. As they see it, Apple may not explicitly assist in spying but likely turns a blind eye.
To be clear, this isn’t a sanctions play by Russia against American products. But officials know the US will monitor them even closer nowadays. So many figured it’s wise to rethink their brand loyalties.
The minister highlighted Samsung’s beefed-up security features, like KNOX, that handle sensitive info. Features tailor-made for government work.
This tablet swap could open up Russia’s device market beyond just Samsung. Chinese manufacturers may now get more traction. Even homegrown brands like Yandex, positioning itself as the Russian Google, stand to benefit.
Yandex offers an alternative to Google’s services and operating system for Russian devices. With iPads out of favor, Yandex and others have a chance to fill the void.
The tablet shakeup highlights Russia’s ongoing quest to control its tech environment. With tensions simmering, officials feel American devices now come with too many strings attached.