Samsung responds to rumors that it will return to the Russian smartphone market

Samsung is expected to return to the Russian market soon, but now Samsung has responded to this, saying that "a decision has not been made on the matter." 

A source close to Samsung said the South Korean company may restart sales in Russia in October, restart its official online store and restore equipment supplies to retailers. Due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Samsung Electronics stopped supplying to Russia in early March citing geopolitical reasons. Although Russia accounts for less than 5% of Samsung's global smartphone sales, Counterpoint noted that as of the fourth quarter of 2021, Samsung was Russia's largest smartphone supplier with a 30% market share, while Xiaomi and Apple each accounted for 23%. % and 13% market share.

However, Counterpoint data shows that in 2021, Chinese manufacturers dominate the Russian smartphone market with a market share of 44%. Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported that the country’s smartphone imports fell by 38% in the first half of 2022.

In order to maintain imports of consumer goods, Russia's parliament passed legislation in June that introduced a so-called "parallel import" scheme, under which domestic retailers would be allowed to import everything from smartphones to Raw material goods without the approval of the trademark owner. In early September, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov claimed that Apple's latest iPhone 14 will be offered under a parallel import program, according to Russian news agencies. However, consumer electronics imported under the program are at risk of a 20 percent increase in sales prices, although some dealers are willing to cover the costs.

Reports from Reuters show that China’s share of smartphone sales in Russia has been rising steadily, from 50% in the first quarter of 2021 to 70% in June, with a surge led by Xiaomi, Realme, and Honor. Analysts from Russia's GS Group told Kommersant that Chinese consumer electronics brands could capture 90 percent of the Russian market and set out to create their own ecosystems to further strengthen their positions.

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