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MOSCOW, Aug 18 (PRIME) -- The Russian market of mobile phones and smartphones continued growing in January–June with the lion’s share held by cheaper devices and smartphone sales exceeding ordinary mobile phone sales. Leading international brands are losing their positions to smaller producers due to the lack of affordable gadgets.
The sales of mobile phones and smartphones grew 5% on the year to 18.6 million devices in January–June, including 10.4 million smartphones, which is a 56% rise on the year, Evgeny Alminov, director of the cellular communications and digital devices department at J’son & Partners Consulting, told Russian Connection.
The market of mobile phones and smartphones was under the influence of several trends, most of which emerged last year and strengthened in the first half of the current year.
“The share of smartphones in total sales of mobile phones in January–June is some 60% in natural terms and close to 90% in monetary terms. We are seeing an active replacement of ordinary phones with smartphones on the market,” Mariya Zaikina, a spokeswoman for multichannel retailer Svyaznoy, said.
The market has a well-established “top three” operating systems with the most popular being Android. Zaikina said 80% of all smartphones sold in January–June worked on the operating system from Google as compared to 70% a year earlier. It is followed by iOS and Windows Phone.
The top five smartphone brands by sales changed in January–June. As of the end of 2013, the top five by sales in natural terms were South Korea’s Samsung, the U.S.’ Apple, Finland’s Nokia, Japan’s Sony and Taiwan’s HTC, which together occupied more than half of the market in natural terms, and over 70% in monetary terms. “In January–June, the so-called B-brands had a stronger impact on the market with the most influential ones comprising the U.K.’s Fly, Russia’s Explay and China’s Lenovo,” Zaikina said.
Svyaznoy’s representative said the role of B-brans is more significant in the price segment of under 5,000 rubles. In January–June, the segment occupied 44% of the smartphone market as compared to 25% in the same period a year earlier.
“When it comes to А-brands, only those who offer phones in various price segments, including the budget segment, have a chance to get the maximum chunk of the market in natural terms. For example, Nokia’s share grew in April–June thanks to the launch of Nokia X model. Only substantial sales in the budget segment helps get a larger market share in natural terms, though it does not guarantee the same results in monetary terms,” Zaikina said.
“We forecast a further increase in sales, and the share of smartphones may exceed 70% in natural terms and 90% in monetary terms,” she said.
Retailer Euroset spokeswoman Natalya Dzhuro said that the country’s top five bestsellers among the smartphone models in January–June were Apple iPhone 5S, Fly IQ238 Jazz, Apple iPhone 4S, Megafon Login 2 MS3A and Samsung Galaxy WIN I8552.
The development of the smartphone market will be influenced by three factors: an active replacement of ordinary phones with smartphones, higher affordability of devices, as well as an active growth of some categories of “clever” telephones, like phablets.
Phablets, or smartphones with a screen diagonal over 5 inches, are demonstrating the highest sales dynamics on the market of “clever” phones and topped the growth rates of LTE-supporting devices and multi-SIM smartphones. Phablet sales almost quadrupled to 911,000 devices, and their market share in natural terms tripled to 9% in January–June. Today, the phablet market is presented by more than 250 models both from the largest world producers and B-brands. Their sales turnover tripled to 12.3 billion rubles in January–June, Zaikina said.
Research company IDC estimated the volume of wholesale shipments of handsets into Russia in April–June at 9.1 million units. “Smartphones accounted for 59% of the market against 54% in the first quarter. The top three vendors were Nokia, Samsung, and Fly, in that order, and the top three smartphone vendors were Fly, Samsung and Apple, in that order,” Simon Baker, an IDC program manager, told Russian Connection.
J’son & Partners Consulting expects that the country’s market of smartphones will expand to 25.9 million devices as of the end of 2014. “The share of smartphones in the sales of all handsets will rise from 43% in 2013 to 61% in 2014” Alminov said.
Supplies of tablets by Samsung and Apple to Russia almost halved on the year in April–June, and the companies lost their first and second places on the Russian market to Lenovo and Taiwan’s Asus, according to IDC.
Below is a breakdown of tablet shipments in April–June, as seen by IDC:
|Company||Supplies in Q2 ‘14, units||Share in total supplies in Q2 ’14, %||Share in total supplies in Q2 ’13, %|
According to Euroset’s data, the country’s top five bestsellers among tablet models in January–June were Megafon Login 2 MT3A, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 P5200, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T211, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T311 and Apple iPad Mini Cellular.
(36.0014 rubles – U.S. $1)