MOSCOW — Apple’s iPhone went on sale in Russia for the first time ever on October 3rd and Russians are snatching them up and downloading specially-designed killer apps from their own Apple store (iTuneski). Here are the most frequently downloaded Russian apps so far:
PocketBalalaika: Turns your iPhone into a virtual balalaika, complete with a selection of new and traditional Russian songs to play along to, including “Vodka Bottle Polka,” “Which Way Is Poland?” and “Putin On The Ritz.”
GulagSolitaire: A solitaire game like your grandparents played in the gulag, with cards that look like they were made from smuggled crackers and a special button to make them disappear when a guard is coming.
PandoraRadioFreeEurope: Your own free personalized radio with your favorite propaganda selections from the United States, Great Britain and the former Soviet republics. Choose your topic (democracy, jazz, Paris Hilton) and Pandora will create a pirate station just for you (KGB scrambling software extra).
Crash Bandicoot Moscow Bus 3D: Crash races an overloaded slow-moving Moscow buses through narrow streets, picking up points for avoiding government officials and running over tourists.
PhoneSaber Russia: Ever wished you could swing your iPhone around like a real Russian saber? Now you can with PhoneSaber Russia. Its sound effects include swishing, stabbing the enemy, head-chopping and slicing sausages for lunch.
Sturgeon Pond: Relax as you watch lovely beluga sturgeon swim and play on your iPhone, then are gently lifted out of the water, sliced open and de-caviared onto crispy crackers that you can almost taste.
Secret Recorder: Use your iPhone as a voice or sound recorder. Comes with a special “chameleon” display that makes the phone blend into its background (government use only).