MTS, Russia’s largest mobile phone provider, said on Tuesday it had started selling discounted and older cellphones, giving Russian consumers more affordable options as inflation bites and Western manufacturers interrupted deliveries.
Apple, one of many Western companies to distance itself from Moscow since it sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a special military operation, has halted all product sales in Russia in early March.
Tabloid Kommersant claimed at the time that sales of Chinese smartphone brands in Russia had doubled in the first two weeks of March.
Now MTS offers smartphones from Chinese brands Huawei, Honor and Xiaomi, as well as from South Korean producer Samsung, up to 50% less than new devices in its Moscow and online stores. MTS said the brands offered and the locations where they are sold would be expanded.
Inflation is hovering above 17%, eating away at Russians’ purchasing power, although the central bank said a stronger ruble and a drop in recently high consumer demand are helping to dampen the brakes.
“This is a good opportunity for our company to offer consumers an additional way to save on the purchase of quality gadgets,” said Pavel Sukhovarov, head of retail network development at MTS, who said consumers can now buy used gadgets at bargain prices.
The discounted devices that MTS sells include models that have been returned within two weeks or have a packaging defect, and will come with a 90-day warranty.
Summary of news:
- MTS, a Russian mobile phone company, has started selling used and discounted cell phones
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