Desktops and Beyond: The Growth of the Tablet in the Russian Market

In 2010, Apple heralded the arrival of the tablet with its launch of the iPad. A new generation of portable devices had arrived; devices that combined the processing power of a laptop with a comparatively lower price, while still being light and compact enough to carry around.

With the internet becoming a central part of life for consumers around the world, both at work and at home, it’s no surprise that these devices gained immediate mainstream appeal. Consumers around the world have embraced this new technology and Russia is no exception.

Tablet sales have overtaken desktops sales in Russia

Data released in 2013 by the market research firm, IDC, shows that tablet sales are helping to drive the overall electronic device market in Russia. As shown in the table below, PC shipments in Russia continued to decline in the second quarter of 2013, with notebooks suffering the biggest drop of 45.3% and desktops showing a lesser decline of 8.2%.

Meanwhile, tablet sales have increased by an impressive 156% year on year.

Natalia Vinogradova, research analyst at IDC Russia, said, “The increasing shift in demand for tablets and smartphones is also a key factor in the slowdown of the portable desktop market, as well as continued economic pressures in the business sector.”

russian desktop shipments Source: Russia PC Shipments Continue to Slow in Q2 2013 as Tablets and Smartphones Gain Share, according to IDC, 12th September 2013

 According to IDC estimates, the Russian tablet market totalled 7.69 million units at the end of 2013, compared to 6.87 million notebooks and this gap between tablets and notebooks is expected to increase further by the end of this current year. Low and mid-priced alternatives to Apple are proving to be a very popular sector in the market, and are expected to make up the bulk of mobile devices sold in the country in the next few years.

Sales of smartphones are also on the rise, accounting for 39% of total shipments in the handset market in the second quarter of 2013, with Android devices leading sales. Simon Baker, Project Manager for mobile devices in Moscow says, “Russia’s smartphone market is catching up with more developed countries where the market has almost reached saturation.”

mobile operating systems in russia

Source: Smartphones on the Rise Again in Russia, Samsung Has Top Models, 5th November 2013

The ever-decreasing cost of both tablets and smartphones is particularly beneficial to the large group of price sensitive consumers living in remote areas of Russia, whose tight budgets (compared to their urban counterparts) may have previously inhibited them from accessing the internet. These barriers are rapidly disappearing and as more of these devices are adopted, so it becomes increasingly important to have a web presence that is both smartphone and tablet-friendly.