When anything warms in Russia, it’s a good thing. And when it comes to the burgeoning smartphone industry, Russia is finally warming up in a big way.
In particular, Apple’s iPhone has surged in adoption in the last fourteen months. Bloomberg reports that Apple sold 1.6 million iPhones in Russia during the 2013 calendar year.
iPhone sales in the country doubled last year to 1.57 million, bringing in $1 billion, according to researcher IDC. That’s despite the fact that at midyear, none of Russia’s top three wireless carriers were selling Apple’s phones.
iPhone sales are expected to pick up further momentum as 2014 progresses. And other hardware makers will benefit as well.
In 2013, 47 percent of mobile devices sold in Russia were smartphones, says Simon Baker, an analyst at IDC.
“Seeing flattening sales in the developed world, Apple is looking into the richer emerging markets,” Baker estimates. “Despite a slowing economy, Russians have a fairly good income and high propensity to spend it.”