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Apple Drags Russia's Mobile Carriers Kicking and Screaming Into the iPhone Era

Laptop computers advertising Apple Inc. iPhone 5 smartphones inside a Euroset Holding NV mobile phone store in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 13, 2012. Billionaire Alisher Usmanov's OAO MegaFon resumed contract to sell iPhones in Jan. 2014 after a three-year hiatus. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Laptop computers advertising Apple Inc. iPhone 5 smartphones inside a Euroset Holding NV mobile phone store in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 13, 2012. Billionaire Alisher Usmanov's OAO MegaFon resumed contract to sell iPhones in Jan. 2014 after a three-year hiatus. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

After years of wooing, Russian mobile carriers are finally coming around to the iPhone — not that they have much choice.

IPhone sales in the country doubled last year to 1.57 million, bringing in $1 billion, according to researcher IDC. That's despite the fact that at midyear, none of Russia's top three wireless carriers were selling Apple's phones.