VimpelCom joins other major Russian mobile operators ditching Apple and the iPhone
It has been reported that the top three major Russian mobile operators have ceased selling the iPhone. VimpelCom has closed its partnership with Apple, following MTS and MegaFon. We previously looked at MTS preferring Windows Phone over the iPhone, feeling more comfortable with Microsoft's mobile platform, but this is an issue for Apple on a larger scale.
So what's going on? According to reports, VimpelCom is the latest partner to go in Russia and has put the move down to "draconian contracts" and rather harsh conditions, which has led the operator to switch over to Android and take up Samsung. This is a huge blow to Apple since the three operators are the largest cannel to market for smartphones in Russia.
Russia isn't quite yet a massive pool of potential revenue for smartphone vendors, but to not have the three top mobile operators backing your mobile hardware isn't quite the stance Apple (or any company in the industry) requires. Enter Windows Phone and competitors.
MTS chooses Microsoft over Apple
As noted above (and in our coverage), MTS is a strong supporter of Windows Phone and Nokia has been pushing low-end, more affordable hardware into the market. This is a strong combination that has resulted in a steady climb for the platform. Windows Phone 8 has proven to be a small hit but there's still a long way to go, but it's the change of winds like what's occurring in Russia that will play a major part in increasing market shares.
It's also worth noting that Russia isn't the only market where partners are looking to cease deals with Apple due to demanding contracts. How Apple will attempt to work around this issue to maintain working relations with retail partners will be interesting to witness, especially as Microsoft continues to work with Nokia to push cheaper smartphones to consumers.
via: Rethink Wireless; thanks, pbroy, for the tip!
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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.
They aren't. The cold war is over and they aren't our enemies anymore (something a lot of people don't seem to realize).
Mexico is the most obese nation in the world.
The two big boys have reached levels that are unsustainable and have nowhere to go but down. AAPL has missed there earnings the last several quarters (I think they did hit on one. This is off top of my head) and Sammy just missed there earnings. AAPL is scheduled to report earnings on 7/22/13. It will be interesting to see what will happen if they miss again.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again... by year-end 2015, Apple will be back to the same place they were in the late 1990's... bankrupt, and this time we'll not see Bill Gates and Steve Jobs team up to save them.
Wrong, they consistenly beat their guidance, where they've fallen short is with analysts estimates (not at all the same thing). What has happened is that they changed the way they calculate their estimate to be more accurate. Analysts, used to them blowing past their corporate guidance, still haven't fully adjusted to the more accurate guidance.
Russia is the II market for my Apps, just now, second to USA only.
But VimpelCom's move is definitely good sign for WP in Russia.
No one buys subsidized phones.
And no one buys contracts.
At launch of iPhone 3G three operators offers US-like contracts with subsidized iPhones. And it was epic fail. They sell zero of iPhones and Apple was angry.
I'm not from Russia... but living in a country where the new Android and Windows Phone launch at the same prices as the latest iPhone, only going down with time, and people purchasing the alternatives over the iPhone, I think that speaks highly about the variety of options and the premium hardware out there. Yes, iPhone may be a premium Apple product, but it certainly is no longer "the" premium phone out there. With the likes of Nokia Lumia 925, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S4 among others high in demand in a country such as Pakistan even, I think Apple will eventually have to adjust their strategy a bit or they may be in trouble of falling behind in other countries as well.
Hopefully with the release of iOS7 and a new iPhone model later this year, they'll be able to claw their way back up to the top... but that's just something that remains to be seen.
As others mentioned, service providers are not huge phone sellers out there, so this is not as large of news as it seems. But just because it is easier to cut ties in Russia does not mean that others will not follow suit.
"When I get bored drinking vodka and playing the ukalaily, I go with my bear to clean off the streets of snow. Kidding. In russia, smartphones are very expensive. Iphone 5 at launch in the US could sell for $3000 in russia. I bought a Lumia 720 for my wifre for $470 from an official reseller. Iphones cost up to $200-300 more, on ebay."