Chinese Smartphones Like Xiaomi, Realme Dominates Russian Market  As Apple, Samsung Pause Sales: Report

Chinese Smartphones Dominates Russian Mobile Market


  • In May, China’s smartphone market share in Russia grew significantly.
  • Xiaomi, Realme, and Honor together accounted for 42% of sales.
  • Overall, smartphone sales were down 26% from the previous year.

As Apple and Samsung halted new sales in Russia and Western sanctions weighed on the Russian economy, China’s market share in the Russian smartphone market increased substantially in May.

According to data from mobile network MTS shared with Reuters, Chinese firms Xiaomi, Realme, and Honor accounted for 42 percent of Russia’s smartphone sales in May 2022, up from 28 percent the previous month.

Samsung has lost its lead in the market, with 14 percent of devices sold compared to 28 percent last year, and Apple’s share has plummeted to 9% from 12 percent.

According to MTS, overall smartphone sales were down 26% year over year, as Western sanctions and supply chain delays have wreaked havoc on Russia’s consumer economy.

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After Moscow moved its army into Ukraine in late February, Apple and Samsung halted new product sales in Russia, but shops were able to exhaust existing stock.

In a so-called “parallel imports” scheme, the Kremlin has also attempted to allow Russian enterprises to send in specific products, including smartphones, without the consent of the licence holder.

Samsung reported in March that deliveries to Russia had been halted due to “geopolitical developments.” The South Korean tech behemoth is the world’s largest memory chip producer and Russia’s top smartphone seller. “Shipments to Russia have been suspended due to current geopolitical developments,” Samsung stated in a statement. “We continue to actively monitor this complex situation to determine our next steps.”

Because of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, big American brands such as Apple, Google, Ford, and Harley-Davidson halted sales and distanced themselves from the country in early March, joining a growing list of companies boycotting the country, ranging from shippers to automobile manufacturers to energy companies. Apple announced it was ceasing sales of iPhones and other items in Russia, Alphabet’s Google removed Russian state publishers from its news feed, Ford Motor said it was ceasing operations in Russia, and Harley-Davidson said it was suspending business and shipments of its motorbikes.

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