Samsung could resume smartphone sales in Russia next month. Citing local newspaper Izvestia, Reuters reports that the company is planning to start shipping devices to Russian retailers in October. While we don’t yet have a precise timeframe for it, the Korean firm will also reportedly re-open its online store in the country. The information was shared by a source close to the world’s No. 1 smartphone brand.
Samsung suspended business operations in Russia in March this year following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, calling the decision a result of “current geopolitical developments”. The decision came after the European Union and the US announced various trade sanctions on Russia, making it difficult to ship products to the world’s largest country by area. The Korean firm was one of the many other companies to stop business in Russia.
Six months down the line, it appears Samsung is ready to start shipping smartphones to Russia once again. The company hasn’t made any official announcement about it and said that nothing has been decided yet. But it would be itching to resume smartphone sales in the country. After all, Russia is one of its biggest markets globally. Samsung was the largest smartphone vendor in the country in Q4 2021, capturing about 30 percent of the market.
Along with smartphones, Samsung had also suspended shipments of semiconductor chips and consumer electronics to Russia in March. It also halted operations at its TV manufacturing factory in the city of Kaluga in western Russia, while donating $6 million to humanitarian efforts in war-torn Ukraine. It’s unclear whether the Korean behemoth is resuming all business operations in Russia next month or only selling smartphones for now. If the report is true, we should get a clearer picture soon.
Russia already allows parallel import of smartphones
Shortly after international companies left Russia, devoiding the country and its citizens of the latest tech products, the Russian government came up with a parallel import scheme. It allows retailers to import goods, including smartphones, from foreign countries without consent from the trademark holder. Of course, it may come with added costs. But Russians who want the latest products can buy those even if the manufacturer isn’t selling them in their country.
However, this scheme seemingly doesn’t help manufacturers much. That’s why Samsung is preparing to resume smartphone sales in Russia even in times of war. It now remains to be seen if other companies also follow the suit and resume business in the country