This rumor is based on reports in the Moscow Times from comments by Steve Jobs in an interview with CNBC.
“We just didn’t have a chance to close [a deal] with Russia. And I think you’ll see [agreements] happen later this year,”
This could be wishful thinking on the part of both Steve and the Moscow Times, both hoping that a deal will be signed. At this time there are a reported 300,000 unlocked iPhones in Russia with an additional 20,000 being added each month at the cost of $1000 each. So a $199 iPhone 3G would be a very popular.
Apple has been in talks with Mobile TeleSystems and MegaFon, but a deal was not signed. A third company, VimpelCom is hoping to begin talks with Apple.