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Russia to become world’s fourth largest PC market

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 9 March 2012

Russia will become the world’s fourth largest PC market in 2012 with full year PC shipments of more than 13.5m according to research house IDC. More PCs will be sold in Russia than in Germany during the course of the year. Dmitri Konash, Intel’s general manager of Russia, believes it is possible for Russia to ship 16 million PCs in 2012. "That would mean 20% [year-on-year] growth," he commented.

Stefania Lorenz, research director at IDC, commented: "Certainly Russia is a driving force in PC growth in Europe, and consumers are driving the growing volume of sales…and if you look at just the third quarter of 2011, of the 2.6 million PC units sold, 2.2 million of those were sold to consumers."

"Technology has also become legitimate business in Russia," said Lorenz, referring to the shift away from the black market toward buying computers at large national retail chains and small stores. "The notebook market is nearly 100% legal now, although a few years ago 50% of laptops were imported into the country illegally.”

Intel’s Konash commented: “Unless there is a global meltdown, the Russian economy will do fairly well for the next few years."

Years of steady economic growth before and after the banking crisis of 2008, together with a growing middle class, have helped stabilize the Russian economy, according to Konash.

"When the economy tanked and global demand for oil dropped, we saw a 50% contraction of PC shipments during the second half of 2008, but the recovery was like a hockey stick," said Konash.

Lorenz added: "By the fourth quarter of 2009, Russia was out of the crisis, credit was back and vendors were selling new PC models. By the third quarter of 2011, consumers were buying, the government started making technology purchases, but the corporate market was still not showing significant uptick compared to years when Russia was experiencing triple-digit growth rates."

According to some estimates, Russia’s middle class grew nearly sevenfold between 2000 and 2006, and average monthly salaries climbed from the equivalent of US$80 in 2000 to US$750 by the end of 2010.

At the same time, the cost of buying a PC dropped dramatically across the globe. According to data from Intel, the worldwide price for an average-priced notebook PC was equal to 47.7 working weeks in 1995, which dropped to 5 working weeks by 2010.

Eastern Europe saw prices drop from 25.7 work weeks in 1995 down to 4.2 in 2010. By 2014, the price of an average notebook PC is estimated to equal 2.2 work weeks in Eastern Europe, which will be slightly below the worldwide average of 2.3.

"Today many people are walking out of stores with a new laptop and the equivalent of about a US$100 left in their pocket," explained Konash. "That’s money they expected to spend but didn’t have to. Laptops and smartphones are becoming symbols of productivity and fashion, and this is compelling consumers to consider new or premium products."

In late 2011, a total of 20,000 ultrabook computers that were shipped to the three main retail networks in Russia sold out after two weeks, according to Konash.

Technology companies from Taiwan are playing a big role in the diffusion of PCs across Russia, according to Lorenz. "Companies such as Acer and Asus can ship their products to China and through Mongolia to reach Russia," she said. "Acer became very successful between 2006-2007 as they aggressively pushed down prices on their notebooks, and today they have a strong retail presence."

While consumers continue to buy new computers through indirect sales channels, or smaller local shops, momentum is shifting toward large retail chain stores such as Eldorado and Media Markt, according to Konash. He reckons that the top two computer brands, Acer and Asus, account for 50% of consumer PC sales, followed by Samsung and HP.

"It will be China, the US, Brazil and Russia as the world’s top four PC markets by the end of 2012," concluded Konash.

That marks a significant change from 2010 when the four biggest PC markets were the US followed by China, Germany and Japan.

About DISTREE Russia & CIS

DISTREE Russia & CIS is the region’s premier annual channel event for vendors looking to manage, build or launch channels in this strategically important market. Leading retailers, resellers and distributors from across Russia & CIS attend the event, allowing vendors to accelerate their channel development and drive business success acrossRussia & CIS.

DISTREE Russia & CIS operates a unique business model based on an ‘invitation only’ event format, offering a compelling mix of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, keynotes, awards and networking opportunities for vendors and channel executives operating in the Russia & CIS region. For more information, visit

DISTREE Russia & CIS 2012 takes place at the Radisson Pribaltiyskaya Hotel in St. Petersburg from June 20th to 22nd. To apply to attend the event, please contact quoting reference code DRU12.


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