Apple's iPhone is available now in Russia, but customers will need to wait until 2009 for launch of the iTunes store.

This may be less of a problem for the Russian market - where jailbroken iPhones have already become a must-have fashion item among the moneyed middle classes of the country.

Now it appears customers purchasing a legitimate iPhone only need to wait until 2009 for iTunes Russia to appear. A Billboard report explains all three major Russian mobile networks: Mobile TeleSystems, Beeline and MegaFon, now offer iPhones, but an iTunes App Store access deal hasn't yet been reached.

Cash appears to be the stumbling block. Content providers are demanding to be paid according to local item values, as MegaFon's Vasily Kuzichev explains: "The biggest problem at this point is that content in Russia is more expensive than in some other countries and the prices iTunes is considering for content in this country doesn't satisfy copyright owners, who think they are too low," he said.

iPhone users needn't worry - there is a Russian portal for the iPhone App Store to keep them occupied while they wait.