MTS praises Windows Phone, says it's more comfortable promoting Microsoft than iPhone

The Chief of Russia's largest mobile operator, OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has stated that the company would require better terms to back Apple after Windows Phones advance to almost match iPhones in market share. Ouch. According to Bloomberg, MTS ceased selling iPhones in its stores at the end of 2012 and has strengthened its relationship with other hardware vendors, including those who produce smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

The company hosted Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop in Moscow back in November. MTS, controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s AFK Sistema, agreed to promote and market Windows Phones, including Nokia Lumias and opened Windows Phone zones in its flagship stores - much like what we've seen with Best Buy in the US.

Windows Phone accounted for just over 8.2 percent of all smartphones sold in Russia in the first quarter of this year, while Apple only had 9 percent, according to research firm IDC. Chief Executive Officer Andrei Dubovskov said the following in an interview in St. Petersburg:

"Apple wants operators to pay them huge money, subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia. Now it’s not beneficial for us. It’s good we stopped selling the iPhone as these sales would’ve brought us a negative margin."

This marks as a rather large step forward for Windows Phone. While the operator declined to provide actual figures, it did note that the percentage of Windows Phones on their network is more than what's found in Russia in general. Now that's progress. We've also witnessed the platform growing in a number of other markets, but Russia has been an interesting country with ups and downs ever since the platform launched. 

It'll be interesting to see how the situation and story develops in Russia and how Nokia can continue pushing alongside other manufacturers.

Source: Bloomberg

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Good news
  • I can see Russia from my Hoose
  • Classic line! This made me actually laugh out loud
  • I don't blame MTS for not selling iPhone, if Apple is getting all the money.
  • True that!
  • Apple give there vendors some shity deals.
  • When your product sells that well you get to play hardball when numbers trend in the wrong direction the carriers are not going to do you more favors this is the positive side of carrier exclusives for Nokia which long term will probably help them. Just my 2 cents thoughts.
  • When the product sells, it is great, but when businesses are trying to cut costs and increase profit margins, they exam what they're paying out as compared to incoming cash. Heck windows pc's are at least 3x less than mac's and mac books yet manufacturers were crying about licensing fees.
  • Nokia always had a strong market share in Russia. But people also tend to buy unlocked phones in countries like Russia. So it could go either way.
  • One country at a time! I just want WP to be on top
  • +1020
  • When that happens we'll all jump to Sailfish or Firefox OS. The unforgiving life of a hipster.
  • It's people like you who give life to a plant in a barren desert and when a forest appears you move on to the next place of neglect :')
    #Carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done#
  • Hahaha you've put it in an extreme context. WP is not doing so bad, its in third place and second if not first in certain countries so only time will tell how things go on. Me however, I love my WP and will continue to support MS and Nokia
  • +140%
  • I wish more mobile operators here in the US though like that to some extent. And yeah Apple just wants everything their way and don't like to make compromises with operators. At least the vendors on WP can come to an agreement for the better.
  • Every non-AT&T carrier in the states is starting to think that way. This is another reason why Apple is still not on China Mobile, cost of acquisition is too high. I believe Verizon saves $100 in subsidy costs selling a windows phone compared to an iPhone. That's huge. Apple's excessive profit margin compared to the rest of the industry means they need to add new features to justify the margin or have to reduce their margin to compete.
  • You wish the carriers would abruptly stop selling phones that their customers want and assume will be available when their upgrade comes up, just as a negotiating ploy to try to extract a better deal out of the phone makers?  How would that be good for anyone?
  • "At least the vendors on WP can come to an agreement for the better." Nope. I can't go into details, but I know a carrier who keeps trying for a windows phone, but MS & HTC refuse to work with them.
  • Now you got Windows Phone 8 devices in AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and soon Sprint to. In time I think WP8 will surpass iOS in US to.
    Maybe in a year or two.
  • I bet Snowden is using a Lumia in that Russian airport.
  • Snowden is a crazy person. He chose to leak stuff and take on the US of A government. He should have just sat indoors, and had a good read of WP Central - and his life would have been fulfilled. We let him down folks, we didn't get the message out :)
  • Lol. There is something about "HEREmaps" and Snowden that makes me smile. "In Soviet Russia, Lumia switches to you."
  • He have yet to reveal things we DIDN'T know... ;)
  • After reading articles about him I imagine Snowden would be using an Android in rebellion against... non-rebellion... People were shocked when they found out countries spy... meanwhile every country looked at it's citizens all casuals and after seeing their faces was like "Huh... Oh yes... Ah.... I'M SHOCKED!!! HOW COULD THEY DO THAT ETC", then after everything died down looked abit confused, at everyones surprise.
  • + 15520 (8X (1020+920))
  • Lmao nice.
  • If my math is correct, that would be 31040X. But I suck at calculus.
  • Your math is wrong. Also, it's algebra, not calculus.
  • Its not algebra, because were not solving for X. In this case, while the X is not necessary for the equation, it helps to illustrate where his numbers are coming from. So its inside added first then times 8, which is 15,520. I know your trying to do PEMDAS rule, but the superceding rule is inside then outside.
  • I never claimed that it's calculus. kthxbye
  • It's definitely 15520, I've recalculated it. Also, it's not algebra, nor it's calculus. It's just a simple math with only 1 solution for a problem, IMO. Hehe
    Anyway, it's 16x(1020+920) if you calculate it to 31040 ;)
  • Wanna make it calculus. Find the derivative of that function and then go back top bed. Go drunk you're home!
  • Now that's something new here... Nice :-)
  • Good one!
  • Однако
  • That's what she said.
  • She? Who?
  • you know .... She. Don't you know ??
  • She said - "Однако"
  • it means "however", "but" with meaning "wow". but why you think this person is "she" )
  • dunno... just think so )
  • Ага
  • I'm still floored by the Jew comment. I'm not Jewish, but... Just wow... 2013, much?
  • I agree with you, altho people of this nature don't exactly mean to offend the Jews in any way nor are they really replicating the stereotype anymore as it kind of just slips off their tongue.... It is still an embarrassing and yet shameful thing to see. His point was valid but the phrasing could have been put into better context when shared. Perhaps he just got to overzealous while typing what was on his mind instead of thinking out what he was typing.
  • Well, the people of the book have ruined the world. What do you expect from imbocils who preach and practice shit that didn't make sense 2000 years ago and definitely not today with all of the sciences disproving it the books word for word.
  • And I did that on purpose..for the trollies
  • Who care's that's in Russia what doing it here in America a little more !
  • With all due respect to you, America isn't the world, and it's incredibly important how platforms are doing around the world because that is where the rapid growth is which in turn is where the money is.  It has been well reported how WP isn't doing great in the US.
    I'm also pretty sure that people from outside the US get sick and tired of hearing about US market shares and when products will be launched in the US and delayed in the rest of the world and then when they do launch in other parts of the world how much we get ripped off by buying them.
  • US market is not the most important. Wake up and smell the coffee my friend.
  • +1020
  • This is more good news for the Windows Phone camp. Love this, love that windows phone seems to be getting more and more positive by the week and soon... By the day.
  • Wonder if touch screen ability with gloves on and lumias build for insulating the cold has anything to do with it
  • ....and yet it's around 34-38 degrees celcius in Moscow right now, so I guess they aren't wearing gloves.
  • That could be part of it... LOL! Its 61 degrees in Moscow Russia as of right this second according to Beautiful Weather HD which is a credible app. That's cold enough to get your fingers numb especially with the wind, so I believe a good amount of ppl may be wearing gloves still.
  • I've never in my life seen someone wear gloves when it's 61 deg F out. Excluding gloves for work or sport.
  • 920walker, read the article the stats are from 1st quarter when it was winter smart ass
  • I read the article. I wasn't replying to your comment but the one above mine about people wearing gloves when the temp is 61F. I'm very smart and do have a nice ass though.
  • Lol...nice
  • So in other words, developers, carriers, and OEMs all stand to make bigger profits pushing Windows Phone than Apple? No shock there.
  • Has Sprint made its way out of the hole it dug itself into when it made the deal to sell iPhones yet?
  • Apple has always been a PITA to do business with...
  • darn got my hopes up, thought you meant, lol   
  • In mother Russia Windows Phone calls you.
  • Hey, just got home from work. Did I miss anything?
  • Some classic Windows Phone is better than iPhone talk. Nothing unusual, ignorant, or offensive. Oh, and something about Russian climate.
  • Giggity.
  • I run wp8 and already use one note
  • I hope more phone carriers follow this model and remove the rotten fruit from their inventory. CRAPPLE is forcing every phone carrier to pay their greed tax and setting up rules upfront. Less I hear about them the better.
  • That's great and all but everybody knows everything is backwards in Russia
  •    This is a huge step in the right direction.
  • This article only reiterates why I have never (or will never) own an iPhone. Apple charges HUGE subsidy fees to the carriers plus a crazy heft on running the carrier network for its VM system, which pushes price plans for carriers higher. Case and point? Verizon and AT&T here in the states. So go you, Russia, for ousting the iPhone's lackluster performance and grasping the awesomeness that is #WP8!! ;)
  • I'm kinda surprise by this but that's really good for WP!
  • When you move WP into a market that hasn't decided it's winner yet it gets positive results, MS has only theirself to blame for the loss of certain markets by being so late to launch and then going through a 2 year beta test. However with that being said the real success of the smartphone market is yet to be written and MS has a good as shot as any other platform in that race.
    I wish them the best of look and look forward to the next major update.
  • Glad someone is starting to wake up.
  • This is why Google is concerned
  • Windows Phone is really popular here, in Russia. The most popular platform is still Android(because of free games LOL) but a lot of people which I know are switching to Windows Phone know.
    Now we only need a plan pricing system and LTE network ^____^
  • I was not able to bargain anything on the internet. Now, I am able to do it at - its cool.  
  • What you've learned is to bargain your soul to the devil for spamming! 
  • It is testament to the power of the consumer that so many networks promote the Apple devices with much reduced margins. This tells me one thing and that is the need to continue to promote the benefits of and alternative platform to consumers. It also says to me that if the consumer loses confidence in Apple that the providers will drop it like a stone.
  • I have nothing against Apple's products but their business practices are just wrong!!!
  • Microsoft, da!  Apple, nyet! 
  • O can confirm with the figure. As I see my app in WP being download from Russia
  • Yeah, well.
    I live in Russia and I use Lumia 720 :)
    Having hard time persuading my wife to switch from Samsung/Android :(