The average cost of a smartphone in Russia decreased by 15% in the third quarter of 2022 and is now 19,300 rubles ($316.08), according to a study of Marvel Distribution.
Marvel Distribution is one of the largest broad-based distributors of computer equipment, server and network equipment, software, portable electronics and communications products in Russia and the CIS countries. According to its information, the demand for premium smartphones has dropped significantly, because phones are now seen as means of communication, roughly speaking, “dialers” with some additional functions.
It is noteworthy that the fact of redistribution of demand in favor of models of the middle price segment was confirmed by retailers themselves, who attribute the drop in demand for iPhone to their gradual disappearance, which, as is known, happened after the introduction by Apple of anti-Russian sanctions on some useful features.
In addition, according to the expert community, the decline in the average market price was due to the cessation of supply of Apple and Samsung smartphones in March this year, and, despite the resumption of supply, manufacturers have not managed to increase the previous volumes. For this reason, the share of premium devices on the market has decreased significantly. It is worth noting that the drop in smartphone sales was both in monetary terms (down 43%) and in units (down 30%.)
The recently introduced new, but inconvenient payment schemes for services, the blocking of important applications and not working Apple Pay were also not in Apple's favor. Moreover, the users of this once prestigious smartphone are now not confident in the stable operation of the iOS platform in the future. In addition, there is virtually no difference between last year's iPhone 13 model and the new iPhone 14 model. For this reason, many have decided to continue using their existing gadgets. Not only Apple, but also Samsung has not allocated funds to retail networks to promote their smartphones since the winter, and this, in turn, affected their popularity.
According to electronics suppliers, although smartphones with new features and limitations began to appear more often in Russia, but now, along with non-standard components, the risk of buying a defective gadget increases.
As it became known, the Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has completely stopped direct deliveries of tablets, smartphones and TV sets to Russia. Moreover, it is quite possible that it will finally withdraw from the Russian market. That is, the import of equipment may be regarded as parallel imports or deliveries through distributors.
Back in June 2020, Huawei announced the closure of its official outlets in Russia saying that it was no longer exporting its devices to our country. Shortly after that the shipments resumed, but since some time there are no receipts again. Yes, some of the official Huawei brand stores are still selling off the remnants of these gadgets, but the lack of new batches of goods can definitely lead to the closure of online stores.
However, Huawei's PR manager in Russia, Marina Krivtsova, said that she has “no information” about this. But many signs point to the possible withdrawal of Huawei from the Russian market. For example, the company does not recruit employees in our country, which confirms that there are no vacancies on Russian recruitment services. Moreover, the Chinese company has moved its employees to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. More recently, there is an announcement of the lease of the company's Moscow office in the Krylatskie hills business center, and there is reliable information that the premises will be vacated from February 1, 2023.
However, if Huawei does leave Russia, it will be possible to import the brand's products through distributors who buy equipment from intermediaries in China (not counting shady schemes and parallel imports). Incidentally, the scheme for bringing equipment into Russia through a partner in China has been used by Xiaomi for many years. In fact, this Chinese manufacturer of portable electronics, supplying goods in this way, assumes all the risks. As for the prices of the equipment, it is likely that they will remain at the same level.