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Apple sold 1.6M iPhones in Russia during 2013 as big telecoms resumed sales, report says

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
After persuading major Russian cellular providers to sign on as partner carriers, Apple's iPhone sales doubled in 2013 to some 1.57 million units.

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Despite not being available on three of Russia's largest carriers for the first half of 2013, market research firm IDC said Apple's iPhone sales in the region doubled to 1.57 million units last year, reports Bloomberg. Now the telcos are jumping on the iPhone bandwagon, adding to Apple's presence in the country.

According to the publication, Russian providers MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom were not willing to agree to Apple's partner carrier requirements, which call for iPhone promotion, handset subsidies and minimum sales agreements. It should be noted that market leader MTS purchases its iPhone stock from a third-party distributor, leaving it without an official Apple deal.

While Apple holds cellular providers in the U.S. and other countries up to the same standards, Russian law prohibits telecoms from discounting devices in return for contracts. It is unclear how the laws applied to Apple's terms, but the three largest carriers were loath to take on the burden until midyear.

For the first half of 2013, Apple avoided the carriers altogether by distributing iPhones through major electronics stores. Russian independent analyst Eldar Murtazin estimates retailer Svyaznoy moved roughly 700,000 units last year.

It appears that Russia's carriers took notice of the brisk sales, with MegaFon re-signing its contract with Apple in December after being iPhone-less for three years. Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom also resumed iPhone sales in October.

Murtazin went on to say that most handsets sold were cheaper iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models, though that trend may change with the rekindled carrier partnerships.

Apple is looking to break into emerging markets and Russia is the last of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries in which the company does not have a major stake. In January, Reuters reported Apple's iPhone held a 9 percent share of the overall Russian smartphone market, but accounted for 20 percent of revenues.
post #2 of 10
Knowing how much resentment people from the UK have for Apple, I wonder how Russians perceive the company.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Knowing how much resentment people from the UK have for Apple, I wonder how Russians perceive the company.

Where has this come from?  The iPhone has something like 25-30% market share here, way more than it does in most/all of the rest of Europe*.  Apple gets flack from some people for their tax practices, but so do Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and a whole bunch of others.  Not sure where this resentment is manifesting, I've never seen it.

 

I'm pretty sure the Regent Street Apple Store was the most popular Apple Store in the whole world for a good while.

 

EDIT: Just looked it up, seems I was conflating two facts.  The Regent Street store was the biggest Apple store in the world (until another London store at Covent Garden overtook it), and was the most profitable store per square foot in London.

 

 

http://www.tech-thoughts.net/2013/11/smartphone-market-share-by-country-q3-2013.html#.UwP-iPl_t8E

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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

Where has this come from?  The iPhone has something like 25-30% market share here, way more than it does in most/all of the rest of Europe*.  Apple gets flack from some people for their tax practices, but so do Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and a whole bunch of others.  Not sure where this resentment is manifesting, I've never seen it.

 

Pay closer attention to these forums. They most often appear in the Microsoft-related threads.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Knowing how much resentment people from the UK have for Apple, I wonder how Russians perceive the company.

Anyone who starts their day off with clod jellied eels is bound to be grumpy for the rest of the day. The Russians, on the other hand, are just happy to not have to buy their iPhones on the black market.
post #6 of 10

I remember almost a decade ago there were a lot of articles about how the iPod is probably more popular and loved in the UK than the US. Guess things have changed now.

 

The Regent Street Apple Store is always packed but it is huge. I didn't know there was another in Covent Garden. I need to look it up the next time around.

post #7 of 10

There are five Apple stores in London I think: Regent Street, Covent Garden, Brent Cross, Westfield Shepherd's Bush and Westfield Stratford.

 

A handful of loudly disgruntled people on an Apple forum don't properly represent the attitudes of a country of 60 million people.  There are trolls of all nationalities here.

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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Knowing how much resentment people from the UK have for Apple, I wonder how Russians perceive the company.

Anyone who starts their day off with clod jellied eels is bound to be grumpy for the rest of the day. The Russians, on the other hand, are just happy to not have to buy their iPhones on the black market.

 

Hate to sound ignorant but WTF is a "clod jellied eel" (not that I want one - just curious)?

post #9 of 10

It's a lazy stereotype which most Brits would be equally as ignorant of.

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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Knowing how much resentment people from the UK have for Apple, I wonder how Russians perceive the company.

Most of the troublemakers here actually come from Canada and Australia, the former being most common. Maybe it's the weather combined with lack of access to and high price of Apple products. You can imagine someone in Canada walking home in the freezing cold trying to fumble with their oversized novelty Android phone, when they get home they have to deal with annoying popups and malware in Windows and can't sync their phone properly and the only Apple store is a couple of hundred miles away and the prices are too high. It must be enough to drive them to kill, but with limited access to weapons or extreme weather preventing them from using them, that just makes them more angry. So they come here and take it out on us.

People in European countries are generally more cynical about things. It's the same regarding politics or religion, just very apathetic towards things you need to emotionally invest in. You need to have a certain frame of mind to appreciate minimalism. If it's features, options, low prices they want, a lack of them in the interests of good design isn't going to work. There's also more regulation in that companies that don't serve the people well are made to comply, the US has more of a free market thing going on. Apple's a company that likes to set their own rules. Customers have more power over other companies regarding prices, features and so on.

People from Australia have a good sense of humor but that comes with a lack of restraint and it has to really - if people tell jokes without having enough confidence that they're funny, they'll fall flat. I don't think that they are as hateful towards Apple but they don't hold back on their discontent so it's more forceful than it probably is. Having said that, Apple's prices were crazy in that region for a long time so it might just take time for those wounds to heal.

The US is very patriotic so the fact that Apple is a home grown company helps (so is Google though) but this may drive some resentment in countries like Korea or possibly Russia. With Russia's anti-homosexuality stance and the US spying on them, maybe it would influence some people to be against liberal US-based Apple. I don't think much of that filters down to consumers though. Same with tensions from historical wars. I don't think the current generation really thinks about that much. If you sell a great product, people tend to put aside their differences because fundamentally, a product sale is a connection between the manufacturer and the customer. I think Jony Ive worded it well when he said that the quality and care put into a product reflects how much they care about the people who ultimately have to buy them and that isn't delivered in any different measure based on nationality, race etc. Sure, it depends on wealth to an extent but everyone has to have a quality threshold.
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