An overview of the Russian smart device market in Q1 2020, prepared by MTS, Russian telecommunication provider. 

Globally, 2020 is quickly shaping up to be a year of historic developments, with major market fluctuations and a rapidly evolving macroeconomic situation. Amid this dynamic environment, the Russian smart device market in Q1 2020 saw a number of notable trends:

  • Currency volatility was one of the main driving factors shaping the market. Against the backdrop of a weakening ruble, analysts estimate the Russian smartphone market grew around 13% year-over-year in Q1 to reach 120.4 billion rubles.
  • This surge is likely explained by Russian consumers rushing to snatch up phones—particularly higher-end devices—before expected price increases could take effect. Driven by this one-off factor, unit sales of smartphones grew 8.7% year-over-year in the quarter, reaching 7.1 million devices, with the average ticket price up about 4% to 16,936 rubles, according to MTS’s analysis.
  • The most striking dynamics were seen in the premium segment, with unit sales of premium segment phones roughly doubling year-over-year, based on the  analysis. Mid-range devices also saw unit sales up 27.7% year-over-year. At the same time, the most popular smartphones remained budget models, representing some 80% of devices sold in Q1.
  • These dynamics were also reflected in evolving consumer credit preferences. In the first half of March roughly 60% of high-end smartphones were purchased with financing, while in the second half of the month that decreased to 30%, with more than 70% of devices bought with cash.
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