Russia’s largest carrier, OAO Mobile TeleSystems otherwise known as MTS, is touting great success in Windows Phone uptake. Windows Phone handsets accounted for 8.2 percent of all smartphones sold in Russia in the first quarter resulting in sales of 315,000 unitsup from 5.1 percent of all units sold the year earlier. In this same quarter, Apple’s market share dropped from 9 to 8.3 percent.
Last year MTS had made the decision to drop the iPhone after enduring years of high subsidies. “Apple wants operators to pay them huge money, subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia” Andrei Dubovskov, CEO of MTS, told Bloomberg. “It’s not beneficial for us. It’s good we stopped selling the iPhone as these sales would’ve brought us a negative margin. Those MTS users who need the iPhone are buying it one way or another — in a gray market or from independent retailers — and are still generating data revenue for us.” The recent Windows Phone results in Russia has proven, for MTS that they had made the right decision.