Russian carrier MTS sings Windows Phone’s praises, turns its back on Apple

Russian carrier MTS sings Windows Phone’s praises, turns its back on Apple
Andrei Dubovskov, CEO of OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) explained in no uncertain terms how it has been a good thing for Russia’s largest carrier to stop selling the iPhone.

At the end of 2012, MTS stopped selling iPhones, a contributing factor to Apple’s decline of market share in Russia, which has reached parity with Windows Phone. Last winter, Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop met with Dubovskov to strategize promoting Windows Phone.

That strategy, in addition to the presumably normal fare, involved having Microsoft and Nokia set up “Windows Phone zones” in the carrier’s flagship stores. Nokia has strong brand recognition in Russia which helps too. The result is seeing Windows Phone account for 8.2% of smartphones in Russia versus 8.3% for the iPhone in the first quarter.

Apple’s sales share dropped from 9% while Windows Phone gained from just 5.1%, each from the year prior. Dubovskov noted that MTS would need much better terms to get back in the race with Apple again, “Apple wants operators to pay them huge money, subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia. Now it’s not beneficial for us. It’s good we stopped selling the iPhone as these sales would’ve brought us a negative margin.”

That last sentence should sound familiar, as it is no doubt rings similar to terms that Sprint had to agree to in order to begin selling the iPhone in the US. The third largest carrier in the US is paying through the nose with borrowed money to keep its commitment to Cupertino which means Sprint will be lucky to break even on the iPhone once the current 4-year deal is done.

We will see how SoftBank plays into the picture when that contract is up for renewal, but we would not fault Sprint for following MTS’ game plan if it was looking for another way. Right now, it looks like the Russian carrier, and indeed the Russian market is taking to Windows Phone quite favorably.

sources: Bloomberg via WPCentral



21. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

The windows phone probably has 90% of the major apps from the original companies. What is missing are the apps from smaller companies. You want a fitbit, onstar or a similar specialized app you still have to wait. Instagram is the most famous notable missing app at the moment. Depending on ones needs these misses can be important. However if you care more about the larger general subject phone have them. Don't let one or two missing apps or people telling you the windows phone is bad. They just want to stop you finding and discovering a great smartphone.

16. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I saw boost from android sales when major apps supported android. If major apps supported wp, it will definitely surpass iOS. Wp is a very good platform, it only needs good apps to keep it from gaining more traction.

19. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It already has good apps. Granted not official versions, but functional third party ones for the rare ones that aren't supported. I personally have never understood the "app-lust". I use my phone like my computer: Internet Explorer for anything online-related, Office for documents, and the individual games for entertainment, and Zune or WMP for onboard media.

15. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Microsoft history -> You can't be a fan without knowing it's history!

11. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

And that is why Apple will eventually struggle down the road. Maybe not now but eventually something will pop up

8. SingDaFire

Posts: 74; Member since: Jun 21, 2013

And i believe in 3-4 years WP will easily overtake apple for the 2nd spot if not the 1st

9. Credo

Posts: 749; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Why not sooner as Nokia has more and more money to spend on marketing their sexy and gorgeous device's? Best regards!

22. RobotMan

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Why not tomorrow then. Dream can be sweet.

7. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Windowsphone devices are gaining respect in their own right.. I'm not concerned if WP beats the competing I just want to see WP get more respect from developers, OEM's, Carriers, sales associates, and Microsoft... When WP reaches critical mass then a chain reaction will happen.. I'm positive we will get what we want from a mobile device, and we won't have to settle for only two options.. Two boring options.

6. SingDaFire

Posts: 74; Member since: Jun 21, 2013

Wat a news..., it made my day... Slowly all other carriers will start doing the same and it will really mark the decline of apple

14. abcdefgh

Posts: 471; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

ya ya.they r such a money minded company

5. andrexx24

Posts: 22; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

"Nokia and Windows phone beats iPhone And Android" according to who? You plus 30 people in in the whole planet? Are we speaking about planet earth? Lol

13. abcdefgh

Posts: 471; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

LMAO . . . sarcasm*

4. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

It takes a village to sell phones. You need buy in from the manufactures, mobile companies and the retail outlets. With those elements in place and a great phone and OS the public will buy. Nokia and Windows phone beats iPhone and Android. The public just needs the chance to experience the phone without retail salespeople making stupid statements. Such as the windows phone is buggy, no apps or just get an iPhone because we know better.

3. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Hope to see other carriers follow suit. Really, I'd like to see subsidies and exclusives come to an end as well, and just have financing options available like T-Mobile does.

2. Jklaz

Posts: 159; Member since: Jul 01, 2013


1. jeff1434325

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

good job MSFT & NOKIA! keep it up!

12. abcdefgh

Posts: 471; Member since: Mar 29, 2013


17. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

A Microsoft a day keeps 'the' Apple away.

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