For the last year, two major mobile carriers in Russia have been boycotting Samsung. However, as of today, the Korean tech titan appears to have muscled its way back into their good graces. How? Why the Samsung Galaxy S7, of course.
Yes, it appears that demand is so high for Galaxy S7 smartphones that the carriers are crumpling under the outcry of their userbase. These carriers originally began boycotting Samsung products after Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, began shoveling off Samsung phones at prices its competitors couldn’t match. Mobile TeleSystems achieved these discount rates by ordering units in massive quantities and acquiring bulk deals.
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Both VimpelCom and MegaFon began boycotting Samsung in May of 2015, but today VimpelCom, the nation’s third largest carrier, finally caved and announced that Galaxy S7 devices would soon be available on their network and through their retailers. Caught between two competitors now selling an overwhelmingly popular device, the second-largest carrier MegaFon looks like they’ll need to make the device available as well.
VimpelCom, MegaFon, and their retailer Euroset operate over 10,000 retail locations in Russia. EuroSet is being elusive about whether or not its chain will begin carrying the Galaxy S7, as the market in Russia has been shifting more and more toward carrier-controlled smartphone sales. With users purchasing devices directly through VimpelCom, MegaFon, and Mobile TeleSystems, EuroSet may be concerned that they won’t move enough of Samsung’s products to be profitable.
Nevertheless, VimpelCom and MegaFon bringing Galaxy products back into the fold is big news for Samsung because it vastly increases the brand’s presence in one of the world’s major growing smartphone markets. With Russia’s mobile ecosystem shifting more toward a carrier-led model, this advantage is almost certain to grow.