Belarus — the European Leader in "Grey" Mobile Handsets

22.11.2010 13:55

Belarus is projected to sell around two million mobile phones in 2010. The share of "grey" handsets reached 90% in total sales two year ago, while now - about 60%. However, the Belarusian market of mobile phones is still a leader in Europe in the number of illegally imported handsets

Vasili Sibirtsev, distributor of Nokia in Belarus, calls the local market «little Klondike» for a great number of «grey» mobile devices. The expert notes that in other European countries there’s no such as tendency. «The Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine, enjoy «white» handsets,» Vasili Sibirtsev emphasizes, «Belarusian News» pass.

High proportion of «grey» phones in the Belarusian market, according to distributors, is due to the price factor. After the official registration and payment of all taxes, «white» phones become more expensive than «grey» and therefore lose in the cost to the latter.

However, as experts note, the sales of legitimate vehicles have been recently increasing in the Belarusian market. This has been facilitated by several factors. First, the mobile operators are actively engaged in the sale of cellular phones. The most widespread sale was shown by low cost mobile devices as part of special actions when a client was offered to buy a phone at a small price in exchange for a long-term maintenance contract with the network operator.

Secondly, the demand for «white» phones is promoted by the sales in installments. Also, experts say, the  widespread smartphones’ usage contributes to legalization of the market. When buying such devices, consumers are increasingly drawing their attention to the warranty, often lacking for the «grey» handsets.

According to Vasili Sibirtsev, the share of illegal mobile phones has decreased by 10-15% in the Belarusian market over the recent year. «50% decrease of «gray» mobile phones’ proportion is expected by 2012,» Vasili Sibirtsev said. According to experts, the preferences of the Belarusian consumers will be shifting towards «white» phones.