MTS blog


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Growing customer demand for digital entertainment services, including video streaming and online TV, has stimulated higher sales of more advanced and premium smartphones. In 2017, the strongest trend in consumer behavior was an upsurge in sales of smartphones priced over RUB 40,000. In monetary terms, this category of smartphones demonstrated an impressive growth of 79% y-o-y. The second fastest growing category were smartphones priced at RUB 20,000 - 30,000, showing a 21% increase compared to 2016. In the RUB 30,000 - 40,000 price segment, sales grew by 15%. At the same time, lower-end devices priced below RUB 5,000 saw a 39% decline in sales.

The popularity of premium smartphones also fueled an overall growth in credit sales which increased by 40% in unit terms and by 74% in monetary terms. The average price of a smartphone bought on credit increased to RUB 19,000 (+24% y-o-y). At the same time, customers this year opted for loans repayable over 24 months sixteen times more often than in 2016 – a period corresponding to the average lifespan of a modern smartphone. Purchase costs distribution over a longer period of time allowed customers to choose premium tariff plans with higher data allowance.

Today, an advanced smartphone helps users manage their daily tasks and serves as a single access point for entertainment, replacing several devices – tablet, camera, music player, e-book and banking card. As a result, consumers are increasingly seeking more reliable and faster handsets which boast high-resolution screens, advanced cameras and NFC functionality. For operators this trend means greater data consumption – in 2017, MTS saw an increase of 252% compared to the previous year.

Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President, Sales and Customer Service, MTS, commented: “We are witnessing a turning point in consumer behavior, with smartphones increasingly seen as integrated hubs of digital life. This drives consumers, even those with low income, to buy more expensive devices so they can access heavier digital content everywhere and at any time. More and more of our subscribers prioritize powerful devices that enable them to watch movies, play games, use social networks, post photos and publish stories on social platforms such as Instagram.

Kirill continued, “To keep pace with evolving customer demand, we offer affordable handsets that provide easy access to digital entertainment. Moreover, at MTS, we are actively developing our own digital ecosystem - mobile music, mobile TV and video-on demand. Our menu of services has been enlarged with e-ticketing service as a result of our recent acquisitions of and”

The average smartphone price at MTS retail stores increased from RUB 9,502 in 2016 to 11,846 in 2017 (+24.7%) which is 13% lower than the average smartphone price on the Russian smartphone market (RUB 13,417). The difference is explained by the fact that MTS retail network keeps prices at minimum, offering its customers the option to choose higher-end devices without typical retail mark-ups.

Among the most popular brands were Samsung, Apple and Honor/Huawei, which collectively accounted for the majority of smartphone sales in MTS retail stores. The overall share of the three manufacturers totaled roughly 85.8% of all gadgets sold in 2017. In 2017, Apple demonstrated solid growth of 1.5x both in monetary and unit terms. One of the main contributing factors was a decrease in retail prices; in Q4 2017, for example, the most popular model on the Russian market was iPhone SE 32GB priced at RUB 18,490 in the MTS retail stores, an annual drop of 40% from the initial price of RUB 33,000 in Q4 2016. Honor/Huawei also boosted its sales showing a 285% and 342% growth in unit and monetary terms respectively. These developments negatively affected Alcatel branded smartphone sales which dropped by 64% in unit terms.

Russian smartphone market in 2017

In Russia, the overall smartphone sales in 2017 amounted to RUB 386 bln (+17.3% y-o-y). In unit terms, retailers together sold 28.4 mln devices (+6% y-o-y) and set a new record, exceeding the previous all-time high of 27.6 mln devices sold in 2014.

Samsung remained the most sought-after brand in 2017. The Korean manufacturer’s market share amounted to 25.2% in unit terms (+3.5 p.p.) and 29.2% in monetary terms (+3.5 p.p.). The main driver for such boost in sales was the successful start of Samsung’s flagship models - Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

Apple’s market share at the end of 2017 accounted for 12.8% in unit terms (+1.7 p.p.) and 34.4% in monetary terms (+0.5 p.p.).

The third most popular brand was Honor/Huawei. The vendor's market share demonstrated a strong growth and reached 9.6% (+5.3 p.p.) in unit terms and 8.5% (+4.7 p.p.) in monetary terms. Another rapidly growing player was Xiaomi – the Chinese manufacturer entered the TOP-5, most highly demanded smartphone brands in Russia with a market share of 4.1% (+3.5 p.p.) in unit terms and 3.7% (+2.9 p.p.) in monetary terms.

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Russian Mobile Retail Report Q1 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In Q1 2017, mobile phone sales in Russia grew 6.2% in monetary terms to RUB 79.4 billion. The key trend seen across MTS’ retail network was the outperformance of LTE-smartphone sales, which was driven by favorable purchase terms available for such gadgets. The total number of MTS online store users increased 11% y-o-y. The most rapidly growing segment for the online store was female users aged over 45, which grew by 17% y-o-y.

In January-March, 8.15 million mobile phones were sold in Russia - 6.12 million smartphones (+ 6% y-o-y) and 2.03 feature phones (-21% y-o-y). In Q1 2017, smartphones sales in Russia increased by 7.9% y-o-y to RUB 76.1 billion.

The average market price of mobile devices increased by 7.7% to RUB 9,749. Smartphones’ share of sales was 95.7% in monetary terms, an increase of 1.5% from the previous year. Smartphone sales represented 75.1% of total mobile sales by units, a year-on-year increase of 5.5%.The average price of smartphones sold on the market increased 1.4% y-o-y and amounted to RUB 12,423.

LTE devices were the main driver behind smartphone sales growth. The share of LTE devices in total smartphone sales reached 66% by units sold (+23.1 p.p. y-o-y) and 88.6% in terms of value (+15.5 p.p. y-o-y). 

The main reasons for increased sales of LTE-enabled smartphones include higher demand for multimedia content, the widespread development of 4G networks and the wider choice of models available. Lower average handset prices, which have fallen by 20% y-o-y to RUB 16,576 (Q1 2016: RUB 20,645), were also a key factor.

By the end of 2016, Samsung smartphones accounted for 24.4% of total sales in Russia, an increase of 3.5 p.p. y-o-y. Apple was the second most popular brand with a share of 11.9% (+1.6 p.p. y-o-y). The fastest growing brand of smartphones in Russia, Huawei, occupied third place and quadrupled its share of sales  to 9.3% from 2.3% a year earlier. ZTE has a stable market share at 5.8%, while Lenovo's share decreased by 3.4 p.p. to 5.7%.


MTS retail: women are increasingly buying gudgets online 

“During Q1 2017, MTS reduced the size of its retail chain by 469 stores to 5,725, in line with where it was in spring last year. Simultaneously, we noticed substantial growth of the number of people purchasing products through MTS’ online store. Interestingly, this sales channel is particularly popular with women over 45 years old. This is an important trend as it shows that online stores can be popular not only amoung young people but also across more conservative customers”, -commented Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President for Sales and Services, MTS. 

MTS continues to improve the affordability of advanced and multi-functional smartphones: the price of MTS’ LTE-devices is 24% lower than the average market price. Favorable purchase terms offer MTS customers more flexibily to choose more advanced LTE-smartphones with high-quality cameras and large screens. 

MTS’ sales of LTE-enabled smartphones increased by 27.1 p.p. y-o-y to a 73.4% share of sales by volume, which is 10 p.p. higher than the market. In monetary terms, the share went up by 20.5 p.p. to 90.8%, demonstrating how MTS’ LTE sales outperfomed the market both in absolute terms and market share growth rates.

The average price of smartphones sold through the MTS retail chain increased 14.3% y-o-y during 2016. The share of MTS’ smartphone sales in the RUB <5,000 and RUB 5,000 – 10,000 categories decreased by 5.2 p.p. y-o-y and 5.7 p.p. y-o-y, respectively, in monetary terms. The share of smartphone sales in the RUB >10,000 category increased, while smartphones in the RUB >40,000 price range demonstrated the fastest share of sales gain at 6 p.p. y-o-y.   

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Friday, April 01, 2016

We have recently released a new report on mobile retail market in Russia for 2015. 

You can download the report below.

MTS Retail Report 2015.pdf (909.20 kb)

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

We are pleased to share with you our report on the structure of the mobile traffic by devices in MTS network in 2015. We can finally say that smartphones have become the largest platform for mobile Internet usage. Data usage through smartphones has doubled in 2015, and smartphone usage now accounts for 39% (versus 32% in 2014) of total traffic on our networks. 

Over the last year, the share of traffic generated by USB modems declined from 45% to 37%, while tablets and routers maintained their share stable.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today we are issuing a report on mobile retail in Russia during Q3 2011, based on the estimates from our mobile retail network. 

Highlights from the report:
- During Q3 2011, the number of phones sold in Russia has increased by 15% compared to Q3 2010 with around 11.4 mln devices sold
- During Q3 2011, the mobile handset market in Russia has expanded by 10% in sales compared to Q3 2010 to reach 47.0 bln rubles
- The average price of mobile phones during Q3 2011 decreased by 5% compared to Q3 2010 to reach 4137 rubles

- The share of budget phones priced under 1500 rubles in the sales mix decreased by 10.2% y-o-y to 30.3% as the sales of the phones in the 1500-4999 range expanded 

- Sales of smartphones in the sales mix in the MTS retail network during Q3 2011 reached 21%

- The HTC Mozart running on the Windows OS was launched in Q3 2011 exclusively in the MTS retail chain 

- MTS continued to roll-out its retail chain by growing its network of franchise stores. At the end of Q3 2011 the total number of MTS retail outlets reached 4017 with 2392 own stores and 1625 franchise stores  

Please download the complete report

Mobile retail report_Q3 2011 Final ENG.pdf (580.19 kb)



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