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The market for “grey” smartphones in Russia almost died because of the fall of the ruble

In 2014 in Russia has sold about 45 million smart phones, according to “Vedomosti”. Estimate how many of them were imported legally, i.e. with the knowledge of the producer and of the payment by the importer is VAT and how much Serou, without compliance with these terms diverge.

Leading analyst Mobile Research Group Eldar Murtazin believes that the grey import in 2014 accounted for about 3% of sold in Russia of machines. And in the first half of 2015, this share is due to the fall of the ruble against the dollar and Euro fell to 1.5%, he said. Although the share of the grey import is not very high, in absolute terms, this is approximately 1 million units per year, which is quite a lot, acknowledges the expert.

Through gray schemes in Russia are imported mainly smartphones: they sold much more than simple phones, said CEO Telecom Daily Denis Kuskov. The price difference between grey and white small phones because they are cheap is 1000-2000 rubles and the profitability of their resale to Serou minimum.

According to Svyaznoy, in 2014 in Russia has sold 26 million smartphones. In the first half of 2015 were sold in Russia 9.1 million such devices (11% less than in the same period of 2014). If by mid-2014 to 15% of smartphones were imported to Serou since October, when the ruble began to fall rapidly, gray market began to decline and by the end of the year almost died, says the President of “Euroset” Alexander Malis. In the spring of 2015, when the ruble began to rise, grey supply started to grow again, but the second wave of weakening of the ruble has led to their re-reduction, he says. According to him, the share of grey handsets in August 2015, was on the Russian market of 5-7%.

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Grey market, in fact, support the buyers themselves – for example those who seek to purchase goods at the cheapest prices, even if the benefits would be 500-1000 rubles from the official price of the device, according to the representative “Coherent” Maria Zaikina. Another category of buyers that support grey imports, are those who want to get the device immediately after the start of its sales occurring in another country. However, these are becoming less and less, because the last two years, the brands very quickly bring innovations in Russia through official channels, she said.

According to experts, gray goods may be harmful to consumers because it may not be covered by warranty from the manufacturer, be missing the manual in Russian. Suppliers suffer from the fact that the influx of grey goods prevent them to launch new products, in addition, if any it makes no sense to invest in the development of local production. Ultimately, because of the difference in price honest retailers are in an unequal competitive conditions with grey importers.

In addition, in the case of gray goods, you can face a fake or just fraud continues Zaikina. “One of the last high-profile cases was the story of an Internet store SAS, which promised its customers the iPhone at significantly lower than market price. As a result, after collecting prepaid orders representatives of the store, just gone with the clients ‘ money,” he recalled in “the Messenger”.

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