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.