The FINANCIAL — The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has placed an order for purchase of two Apple iPad 3G tablet computers which are not certified by the FSB itself and are imported into Russia illegally, business daily Vedomosti reported on August 2, according to RIA Novosti.
An FSB military unit has completed a tender for the supply of two pc iPad 3G tablets with 64 GB of memory and two Wacom graphics tablets with 17- and 19-inch screens, according to information posted on the state purchase contractor's website. The ceiling for the tender was 200,000 rubles ($6,615) with a delivery date of August 28.
Communication instruments with a ciphering function, including the iPad 3G, can be only imported into Russia after certification by the FSB, the manager of the device's distributor company said. Itwould not be a problem for the FSB to import the iPads, the manager said, but it is unlikely they will get a guarantee or equipment servicing for them.
Wacoms have been sold in Russia for just over a year and range in cost between $1,819 and $2,480. The new iPad 3G, which Apple began selling in the United States in April of this year, will hopefully go on sale in Russia this fall; however, they have not yet been certified by the FSB. Apple's iPads are about $600 cheaper than Wacoms.
If the company that won the tender for delivering the equipment by the end of August actually follows through with their promise to fulfill the FSB's order, then they will have to bypass official channels, including the FSB itself.
Neither the FSB nor Apple have officially commented on the purchase of iPads, but an FSB employee said the purchase of the two devices was probably just to boost the status of unnamed department heads.