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Is Apple doomed in Russia?

  • 29 October 2013
  • Written by 
  • Published in Mobility

Apple may be struggling to market its new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S models in Russia, according to a new report.

The Cupertino tech giant's share of Russia’s smartphone market is currently at around 8% according to Bloomberg, which reported the iPhone is "too pricey for all but the wealthiest of the country’s 143 million people." In comparison, Samsungh has nabbed more than 50% of Russian sales with its cheaper devices running Android.

IDC analyst Simon Baker told Bloomberg that "if Apple really wants to compete with Samsung [in Russia], it should've come up with a much lower price for the 5C."

Baker said Apple is selling the iPhone 5C for $800 in Russia, while the iPhone 5S retails for about $960. They went on sale this week in a number of emerging markets, including Russia.

The iPhone 4S is this year's top-selling Apple smartphone in Russia, and that device retails for approximately $500.

Handsets are priced and purchased differently in places like Russia, where phones aren't allowed to be subsidized by wireless carriers, unlike the US and Australia. Consumers are therefore forced to pay full retail price, rather than $0 which is often the case with 24-month plans elsewhere.

Cook said in July Apple is “really happy” with its performance in Russia.

IDC said that worldwide, the iPhone’s market share fell to 13 % in the second quarter compared with about 17% a year earlier, while Samsung kept its share at above 30%

“IPhone sales aren’t doing great globally,” Eldar Murtazin, an independent analyst in Moscow, told Bloomberg.

“Such a large market as Russia may help.”

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