Russia dumps the iPhone, plays favorites with Samsung

By on July 17, 2013, 4:30 PM

Each of the three major wireless carriers in Russia, MTS, MegaFon, and now VimpelCom, have opted to stop selling the Apple iPhone, citing tough contractual requirements as the cause.

VimpelCom, the last of the major Russian carriers to separate from Apple, says it has put Samsung on the top of the list for smartphone manufacturers to promote, second only to its own BeeLine brand, reports Rethink Wireless.

VimpelCom said that it decided to drop Apple because of their “draconian contracts” and “harsh conditions... especially in the marketing department,” Dmitry Ryabinin, chief analyst for Russian Hi-Tech told PhoneArena.

The decision may also have been influenced by Vimplecom’s recent deal with Samsung, who reportedly offered the wireless company much more favorable terms. This comes as another blow to Apple in the ongoing global battle with Samsung.

Apple’s market share in Russia is slowly falling; it’s decreased from 9% in Q1 2012, to 8.4% in Q1 2013. There is now only one retail store that carries iPhone’s, but Apple is preparing to open it’s own chain of Apple Stores in Russia soon. In addition to the brick and mortar stores, Apple launched the official online Apple Store in Russia on June 26.

Like in other developing countries, the iPhone is seen as more than just a phone, it's also a status symbol. With 143 million people, Russia is expected to surpass the United States in 2018 as one of the world’s top smartphone markets, along with Brazil, China, and India, and is definitely not a market that Apple wants to get cut out of.




User Comments: 35

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Guest said:

Deserves apple right, don't get me wrong, the iphone is an awesome phone, but that alone can not/should not/will not make you be a great company. I have long used iPhone and tried other companies offerings over the last couple years and can say the iPhone is better then any crap Samsung can put out and their "draconian" horrible additions to the beautifully done 4.2.2. This is being said from someone who went from 3gs-4-HTC8X-2sX-G3-Note 2, and now onto the best phone I have ever owned - Nexus 4. I hope the Russian market sees how great Android can be with stock 4.2.2 on Nexus devices. Feel sorry that they have to deal with Touch Wiz.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Interesting to see this happen just 2 weeks after Apple launched its Russian online shop www.apple.ru

Probably they were anticipating it, and hope that presence of the official Apple online shop in Russia will change things in their favor...

Classified1 said:

That's what apple gets for suing so many other companies, now they lost sales in an entire country lol.

howzz1854 said:

Sometimes apple needs to be whipped once in a while. love some of their products, but can't take their stuck up attitude.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Good choice Russia. Galaxy Note 3 coming soon ftw.

Guest said:

To be anti-apple about these things is...well...dumb. You very likely wouldn't have your Nexus being half of what it is for twice the price if it wasn't for Apple's impressive contribution to this technology. If you feel Apple's phone is over-priced or their policies aren't what you prefer then buy something else. But don't shoot yourself in the foot by wanting to kill the primary force that keeps the rest of the industry having to innovate and keep prices down.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But don't shoot yourself in the foot by wanting to kill the primary force that keeps the rest of the industry having to innovate and keep prices down.
I think you have it backward. From what I've seen Apple would love to sell their iPhone for 2K. But yet the rest of the industry doesn't allow for Apple to do so. So no Apple is not the primary force keeping prices down. How else go you think Apple keeps a status quo, among groups as being the wealthiest?

Guest said:

If other phone manufacturers priced their gear the same as Apple, they'd go out of business. If they could, they would. Apple still provides the highest ROI for quality, support and longevity. Many are still happy with the iPhone 3 and iPad 1 they bought years ago and they still fetch a decent price second hand. Other manufacturer's phones are practically obsolete the day they are purchased with newer models churned out so quickly after and rarely an OS update - if ever. Without Apple, you can bet they'd be asking top dollar for these throwaways.

2 people like this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

I love when guests troll the site.......

Guest said:

I love when guests troll the site.......

I love even more when members devoid of any reasonable rebuttal cry 'troll'.

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

I can't see how Russia will be a bigger market than the US , with Russia's low birth rate

windmill007 said:

Apple builds the best quality and doesn't allow wireless bloatware to be installed. I can resell my old iPhone for the price I bought it at. I'm tired of apple haters. If you want a good quality product with high resell value you buy a iPhone or you but something cool but worthless in the long run. Your choice. See what choice Russia is making. Most Americans are smarter apperarently.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Apple sauce baby !

they got what they iDeserved.

Guest said:

drjekel_mrhyde said:

I can't see how Russia will be a bigger market than the US , with Russia's low birth rate

you didn't factor russian bears

windmill007

that is bcuz iPhone havent changed in years, same old crap hardware, while android refresh every half year, gives you many choices, you can buy $100 budget offering or buy $600 beast that'll wipe floor with Iphone, and as to os iOS is like android 1.6 but with lots of apps since it came 1st

oh and we'r talking about retail price not contract right?

Guest said:

Android, the Lada of the phone world. Say no more.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Good choice Russia. Galaxy Note 3 coming soon ftw.

You seem the eat, breathe & live this Note 3 thing.

Guest said:

Innovate
?

Apple doesn't innovate anymore since the death of Steve Jobs.

You mean " "Steal and reverse engineer" "

2 people like this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I love when guests troll the site.......

Me too. They make us members look intelligent.

1 person liked this | highlander84 said:

Apple builds the best quality and doesn't allow wireless bloatware to be installed. I can resell my old iPhone for the price I bought it at. I'm tired of apple haters. If you want a good quality product with high resell value you buy a iPhone or you but something cool but worthless in the long run. Your choice. See what choice Russia is making. Most Americans are smarter apperarently.

Well I have posted this before...it is still 100% true.

[link]

So...yeah I will stick with my Samsung device, thank you.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Apple builds the best quality and doesn't allow wireless bloatware to be installed. I can resell my old iPhone for the price I bought it at. I'm tired of apple haters. If you want a good quality product with high resell value you buy a iPhone or you but something cool but worthless in the long run. Your choice. See what choice Russia is making. Most Americans are smarter apperarently.

I guess we're all entitled to our opinions no matter how obtuse.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Innovate
?

Apple doesn't innovate anymore since the departure of Wozniak*.

You mean " "Steal and reverse engineer" "

Since Wozniak* fixed that for you dear chap.

Jim$ter said:

Apple builds the best quality and doesn't allow wireless bloatware to be installed. I can resell my old iPhone for the price I bought it at. I'm tired of apple haters. If you want a good quality product with high resell value you buy a iPhone or you but something cool but worthless in the long run. Your choice. See what choice Russia is making. Most Americans are smarter apperarently.

Well I have posted this before...it is still 100% true.

[link]

So...yeah I will stick with my Samsung device, thank you.

Thanks for a good laugh. I'm not saying Apple is everything. Just saying their phones are reliable and hold resell value. The Apps are the best and don't contain malware like Android software because Apple checks them out. So we don't have as many apps. Who cares I only want the best anyways. Also I don't want Verizon bloatware on my phone...iPhone doesn't have that. Do I care about having the fanciest phone? No, that's low on my features list but the iPhone is still pretty top notice even if it's not the biggest,fastest phone out their. If that's what you want and don't care about resell value...Then yes...Android could be a good phone for you. But don't kid yourself. There is nothing wrong or evil about the iphone compared to androids. I'm just stating the facts.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Wow just say this the other day 2

[link]

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple builds the best quality and doesn't allow wireless bloatware to be installed. I can resell my old iPhone for the price I bought it at. I'm tired of apple haters. If you want a good quality product with high resell value you buy a iPhone or you but something cool but worthless in the long run. Your choice. See what choice Russia is making. Most Americans are smarter apperarently.

Well I have posted this before...it is still 100% true.

[link]

So...yeah I will stick with my Samsung device, thank you.

Thanks for a good laugh. I'm not saying Apple is everything. Just saying their phones are reliable and hold resell value. The Apps are the best and don't contain malware like Android software because Apple checks them out. So we don't have as many apps. Who cares I only want the best anyways. Also I don't want Verizon bloatware on my phone...iPhone doesn't have that. Do I care about having the fanciest phone? No, that's low on my features list but the iPhone is still pretty top notice even if it's not the biggest,fastest phone out their. If that's what you want and don't care about resell value...Then yes...Android could be a good phone for you. But don't kid yourself. There is nothing wrong or evil about the iphone compared to androids. I'm just stating the facts.

No, not facts, claims, assumptions and opinions

1 person liked this | highlander84 said:

Thanks for a good laugh. I'm not saying Apple is everything. Just saying their phones are reliable and hold resell value. The Apps are the best and don't contain malware like Android software because Apple checks them out. So we don't have as many apps. Who cares I only want the best anyways. Also I don't want Verizon bloatware on my phone...iPhone doesn't have that. Do I care about having the fanciest phone? No, that's low on my features list but the iPhone is still pretty top notice even if it's not the biggest,fastest phone out their. If that's what you want and don't care about resell value...Then yes...Android could be a good phone for you. But don't kid yourself. There is nothing wrong or evil about the iphone compared to androids. I'm just stating the facts.

Resale value is not an issue when you keep the phone you bought, oppsed to running to get the new one every 6 months. So thats a non-issue. Apps are the best? I've yet to have any malware in any app I have downloaded. mainly because Google checks them as well. Apple however does controle what the apps contain and are biased towards certain things. Google is not. Bloatware is a problem, however I can just flash a custom rom and done...Android gives anyone the ability to do with their phone whatever they want. Evil? haha well keep telling yourself that. Apple has one thing in mind and one only. $$$

MilwaukeeMike said:

While it's not too surprising that this turned into another Samsung vs Apple debate I think the real issue here is Russia vs USA. I'll bet Russia was none too happy to have a popular American product floating around their stores. They were probably looking for an excuse to boot out Apple, and prefer the non-American Samsung.

Guest said:

Iphone an american product? maybe on the corporate letter head, but the iphone is a pure foreign device.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Iphone an american product? maybe on the corporate letter head, but the iphone is a pure foreign device.

iPhone sure can be argued, Apple no, they're American.

grumpiman said:

Well, when you consider that a lot of Russians source their iPhones abroad on the grey market (eg. buying one from the US costs about $600 vs. buying it locally for $1000), I don't think sales are going to increase anytime soon over there - but you'll probably still see a lot of them around!

Guest said:

@ MilwaukeeMike

Your argument makes no sense considering some of the most popular products in Russia are American (Coca-Cola, NIKE, Levi's, McDonalds, Nvidia GPUs).

It's more like the top 3 telecomm firms make more $ selling products from competing vendors. The subsidies Apple provides are much worse than what Samsung provides but the iPhone 5 and Samsung S4 cost very similar on a contract on Russia and '-stan' countries in East Asia. Additionally, consumers gravitate towards larger-sized phones in those regions. Apple is losing market share and vendors like BeeLine are making lower margin. It's a win-win for these firms to just drop the iPhone entirely.

1 person liked this | Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Yes, because RIM wasn't already pushing other companies to create new products like the modern smart phone already.. well before Apple decided to poach Kubricks set designs and call them their own. As well no one told Apple they needed to patent troll, to LIMIT design innovation and force companies to squander billions of insipid law suits to keep others from being better at innovation then Apple. But you go on and wave that apple flag, I'm sure you'll have one or two I-douche's waddling your way momentarily.

To be anti-apple about these things is...well...dumb. You very likely wouldn't have your Nexus being half of what it is for twice the price if it wasn't for Apple's impressive contribution to this technology. If you feel Apple's phone is over-priced or their policies aren't what you prefer then buy something else. But don't shoot yourself in the foot by wanting to kill the primary force that keeps the rest of the industry having to innovate and keep prices down.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

Iphone an american product? maybe on the corporate letter head, but the iphone is a pure foreign device.

I'm pretty sure he was talking about the company, not the product. The company is American.

Guest said:

Yes, because RIM wasn't already pushing other companies to create new products like the modern smart phone already.. well before Apple decided to poach Kubricks set designs and call them their own. As well no one told Apple they needed to patent troll, to LIMIT design innovation and force companies to squander billions of insipid law suits to keep others from being better at innovation then Apple.

Not sure where to start here. You're not a patent troll when protecting I.p. that you're actively using in your products from being abused by a company that manufactures your patented parts. It seems the judge would agree. Kubrick, RIM...can I have some of whatever your smoking? Maybe not, it seems to have a devastating affect on IQ.

Guest said:

Love it when the Apple fanboys have to think up new excuses why their phone is superior....now its the resell value....oh boy...

Here is the truth. Apple only has a good market share in America, in Europe it is under 10% and in the rest of the world it is less than 5%. The rest of the world does not buy into the "special" nature of Apple, it is just recognized for what it is - a luxury brand where you have to spend several hundred extra dollars just to have an apple logo on your phone/tablet.

It is now technologically inferior to the top end Android units and is lagging behind in innovation. Android 4.1 surpassed iOS and I would imagine Android 5.0 will end the debate about the best OS.

Consumers the world over want the latest and greatest, the coolest, the most individual, the best value for money. This is all Android strengths. Apple is in serious danger of becoming a has-been because it refuses to give consumers the choice and flexibility they want. Blackberry users used to swear by that brand - they would never switch they said, Now look at Blackberry.

Apple has not innovated anything new since the original Iphone was launched in 2007. It has deliberately held back on introducing new ideas so as to have something to show off on its next incremental release. Its philosophy is anti-consumerism which is why it has been caught and surpassed by the competition.

The Russians will not miss their Iphones. The Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and Indians don't care for them either. The rich will continue to flash them along with their Rolex watches and Gucci bags but ordinary consumers won't care since they will own better phones.

Apple is doomed to a slow demise back into a niche provider because it cannot/will not depart from the arrogant, narcissistic vision Jobs imprinted on the company.

Guest said:

now its the resell value
Apparently you've never heard of Ebay. Take a look and learn something. Better use of your time than writing o.y.a. The only way android ever made it into this market was by being FREE. Google makes its money by finding as many ways as possible to bombard the gSheep sticker price suckers with mind-numbing advertisements so you can spend even more of your cheapskate money on even lousier investments than this worthless-as-soon-as-they-took-your-money hunk of thinly disguised plastic. A faster engine is a necessity because the software is so horribly inefficient. More fuel for less mileage in a body that leeches cancer into your warm sweaty palm.

Oh, I forgot, but you got it so cheap and it's got a faster engine.

Wealthy people get that way by looking at more than just the sticker price. Try it some time.

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