The average price of a mobile phone in Russia reached 12,991 rubles (CZK 5,890) in May, according to data from the statistical server Statista. This is compared to March, when the average price was 14,114 rubles, although it is a decrease, it is still a quarter increase year-on-year.
Compared to the prices of specific models in the Czech Republic, the difference is often even more striking. As part of a small survey of Russian e-shops, the News looked at selected models of phones from the brands Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE and Apple, and in some cases the same phones in Russia cost more than 75 percent more.
The really dramatic difference is especially with the products of the American company Apple. Russia’s largest consumer electronics retail chain M.video offers the iPhone 13 (128 GB) for 82,999 rubles (CZK 37,420) on its e-shop. Czech consumers can purchase this model from a verified dealer starting at 20,000 crowns.
However, it is worth mentioning that M.video had the highest prices of the monitored e-shops, so for example at another seller Telemarket24 the iPhone 13 is sold for a significantly lower amount of 58,490 rubles (CZK 26,520). A higher class with a larger storage capacity – iPhone 13 Pro (512 GB) was then sold from 106,490 rubles (48,300 CZK). On the other hand, in the Czech Republic, people can buy it from regular sellers for as little as 35,000.
Huawei stocks are getting thin
For Chinese phone manufacturers, the price difference was more or less the same despite the fact that China is one of the few countries that maintains good relations with Russia. For example, the flagship Huawei P50 Pro ranged in price from 85,485 rubles (CZK 38,770) to 114,999 rubles (CZK 52,150). Here, the price of this phone starts at CZK 21,990.
In the case of Huawei, however, it is necessary to mention that, unlike iPhones, which are still available from stock, some e-shops only offered the last few models of this brand, some even had none. This indirectly confirms information from the media that Huawei is quietly withdrawing from the Russian market.
For another Chinese brand, Xiaomi, which is famous for cheap mobile phones, we looked at the Xiaomi Redmi 10C (128GB) model, for example. On the e-shop Lite-Mobile we found it for 13,390 rubles (6,070 CZK). In the Czech Republic, it can be purchased for as little as 3.5 thousand CZK.
Even in the case of even cheaper mobile phones from China, from the ZTE brand, which are mostly sold below the above-mentioned average price, the price difference between Russia and the Czech Republic remained similarly large. The Telemarket24 e-shop offers the ZTE Blade A51 model for 7,889 rubles (3,575 CZK), while in the Czech Republic it costs from 2,200 CZK.
PlayStation almost two and a half times more expensive
The price difference is even more profound for the Sony PlayStation 5 game console. The simpler version without mechanics is sold in Czech e-shops from 11,790 CZK. In Russia, we found it the cheapest and in stock available on the e-shop Mobilo4ka for 61,990 rubles (27,215 CZK). That is roughly two and a half times the price here.
The already mentioned largest Russian electronics retailer M.video does not have the PlayStation 5 in stock. Like most other e-shops, it only states that the product will be available “soon”. However, the fact is that the lack of game consoles from Sony is bothering retailers all over the world. The long-term chip crisis is to blame.
The “Russian Amazon” has been swept away
On the other hand, the departure of many Western technology companies from Russia can be seen when viewing e-shop offers. Surprisingly, the largest number is at a large retailer Ozone, which is billed as the “Russian Amazon”. The store currently does not have a single phone, laptop or even television in stock. After clicking on the mentioned sections, only the message “We’re sorry, but there are currently no products available” appears on his website.
According to Dmitry Vinogradov, the director of the largest Russian distributor of digital and computer technologies, Merlion, the price of electronics is not going to drop to the level before the war in the foreseeable future. According to him, the reason is problems with deliveries from abroad and the departure of some companies from the Russian market, reported the economic television RBK.
However, the complete sell-out of Western brand products will probably never happen. In May, the Russian parliament agreed to allow retailers to import goods from abroad without the consent of the trademark owner. This de facto allowed the so-called gray import of goods by companies that had left the Russian market. This is, for example, Apple or the South Korean Samsung.
While Russian consumers will not lose Western products, on the other hand sellers can take advantage of the situation and sell goods at higher prices. Another problem can be the measures of manufacturers who can remotely limit the functionality of their devices after they are connected to the network.