Counterpoint Research: Lenovo, ZTE challenge Samsung and Apple's dominance of Russia's smartphone market

Samsung and Apple lost ground in Russia's smartphone market in the final quarter of 2015 as Chinese brands Lenovo and ZTE made massive gains in terms of market share, Counterpoint Research revealed.

The research company said Samsung remained the leading brand in Russia's smartphone market in terms of sell-in, with a fourth quarter market share of 16.5 per cent. However, that figure was down from the 21.2 per cent share Samsung enjoyed in the final quarter of 2014.

Apple's share fell from 13 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 9 per cent in the same period of 2015, resulting in the vendor dropping from second place in the 2014 quarter to fourth in Counterpoint's listing of Russia's top five smartphone vendors.

Lenovo replaced Apple as Russia's second-largest smartphone vendor by market share. The Chinese manufacturer's share increased from 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 11 per cent in the recent period. Domestic rival ZTE ranked in third place in the final period of 2015 after increasing its share from 2.8 per cent to 10 per cent.

London headquartered smartphone maker Fly Mobile rounded out the top five, despite its market share dropping from 11.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 8.5 per cent in the recent quarter.

Counterpoint Research noted that the proportion of LTE smartphones sold in Russia remained low during the fourth quarter, with just one in four smartphones sold being LTE capable despite investments in 4G infrastructure by Russian operators through 2015.

In a statement emailed to FierceWireless:Europe, Counterpoint research director James Yan explained that the Russian smartphone market "remained almost flat annually" with a marginal 1 per cent rise in shipments year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

Yan said Lenovo's rise up the rankings was fuelled by the vendor's "highly affordable A series (A1000 and A2010)" along with a "broader distribution reach with availability across major retailers and operators." Lenovo and ZTE increased their focus on external markets including Russia "as growth in the China market remained soft," he added.

For more:
- see this Counterpoint Research release

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