iPhones and Samsung cell phones are becoming scarce in Russia

Smartphones are going out in Russia because of sanctions. Apparently, the supplies in the country are sufficient for a few months.

As the “Spiegel” reports, smartphones from Apple and Samsung are slowly being phased out in Russia. The current supplies would be sufficient for a few weeks, currently there is talk of a maximum of three months. This comes from a BND report published by the blog “The Pioneer”. The BND report confirms the statements made by Russian retailers in the electronics sector to the RBK at the end of March: A representative of “Citylink”, a retail chain in Russia, estimated the inventories of Apple and Samsung devices at two to three months. An anonymous source from a comparable competitor confirmed this assessment. There are already shortages in retail for the models in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 series, these are from 2019 and 2020 respectively, and supplies are traditionally quite tight. The scarcity leads to higher prices: an iPhone 12 Pro Max in Russia costs almost the same as a new iPhone 13 Pro Max six months ago.

Apple stops all online sales in Russia

Samsung and Apple account for almost half of the smartphone market in Russia: Samsung was the largest smartphone seller in 2021 with 32.1 percent, Apple was third with 15.2 percent.

The sanctions work

Due to sanctions, the Russian smartphone market has almost halved in the last weeks of March, compared to the sales at the beginning of February: in the week of February 14-20, 2022, 744 thousand smartphones were sold, in the next week – 703 thousand Mobile phones, in the first week of March – 476,000 smartphones, then from March 7th to 13th 380,000 devices. In addition, the selection on the market is becoming much scarcer, some models have disappeared completely, the distribution is shifting towards entry-level to mid-range devices, and in 2021 more expensive professional devices were still preferred on the Russian market. This is the result of an evaluation by the mobile phone provider MTS: The mobile phone market in Russia shrank by two percent in 2021 in terms of the number of devices, but sales grew by 28 percent compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Russian government has legalized gray imports to alleviate shortages caused by sanctions. According to a decision of March 29, 2022, the import of goods into the country is allowed without the permission of the manufacturer or other rights holder. The Russian government calls this practice “parallel import”.

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