The Russian handset market grew during Q3 2017 driven by aggressive marketing campaigns from new Chinese brands. Growth was further bolstered by subsequent price cuts from all the leading retail chains as consumer spending during third quarter of the year normally remains high due to the new academic year and a ‘back-to-school’ uptick. Apple reached record sales during the third quarter, growing 56% YoY due to a drop in the prices of its previous generation iPhone models, prior to the launch of the new iPhones. Also, during this quarter Apple started with trade-in programmes in Russia with online and offline distributors like M.video and Svyaznoy.
Xiaomi made its way to the top 5 of smartphone brands during this quarter. It grew by 325% YoY and was the fastest growing smartphone brand in Russia in both online as well as offline sales.
- Russia’s smartphone market grew by 38% QoQ and 7% YoY during Q3 2017.
- Growth was primarily driven by rising demand for affordable smartphones and increasing online channel contribution. During the quarter, the market also saw a significant increase in trade-in and buy back offers from leading retail chains in a bid to attract more users.
- The online channel smartphone contribution increased from 12% to 15% YoY in Russia during this quarter. Xiaomi and Apple were among the leading smartphone brands in online sales.
- The feature phone segment grew by 13% QoQ and 25% YoY driven by strong performance of Nokia HMD featurephones, especially the Nokia 105. As a result, Nokia HMD was the #1 feature phone brand during the quarter.
- Samsung led the overall and smartphone market with market shares of 20% and 29% respectively during Q3 2017.
- Apple grew by 56% YoY in Russia due to the prices of its previous generation iPhones being adjusted lower and driven by strong sales in online retailers like Svyznoy, Euroset etc. iPhone SE and iPhone 6 were the bestselling online smartphones during Q3 2017.
Exhibit 1: Russia Smartphone Shipments Market Share in Q3 2017
- Global brands captured almost 58% of the smartphone market followed by Chinese brands with 32% market share.
- Chinese smartphone brands continued to grow in Russia. Xiaomi (325%), Bright & Quick (177%) and Huawei (140%) were the fastest growing Chinese brands YoY.
- However, local smartphone brands like Tele2 and Prestigio grew by 61% and 54% QoQ respectively.
- LTE smartphones captured 85% of the market growing 40% annually and 54% sequentially.
- MediaTek was the leading chipset player during the quarter, capturing 32% of the smartphone market share followed by Qualcomm with a 17% market share.
- Qualcomm powered smartphones grew 10% YoY in Q3 2017. The demand for Qualcomm chipsets was driven by Chinese brands as they continue to grow in Russia.