After statements about “import substitution”, even local experts doubt the possibility of creating a Russian smartphone that could be a success with the consumer.
One of the largest IT companies in Russia, the National Computer Corporation (NCC), has announced that it is going to release and sell 100,000 “sovereign” smartphones and tablets by the end of 2023, Wired reports. The publication asked experts from the Russian Federation what they think about this. It turned out that they do not believe in the success of the “sovereign” smartphone.
In turn, NCC plans to invest $130 million in this project and hopes to capture at least 10% of the Russian gadget market by 2026. However, the Russian market experts still have an open question: what OS will the “sovereign” devices run on? If on the “enemy” Android OS, then the US will most likely immediately block access to Google services, as happened with Huawei (after which the profit of the Chinese company fell immediately by 30% over the past year – ed.). If on the “domestic” Aurora OS (which is built on the basis of the Finnish Sailfish OS – ed.), then AYYA T1 phones based on it have been sold since 2022, but they have not gained popularity so far. In addition, in December the Russian government refused to allocate $292 million earmarked for the development of the Russian operating system.
Another problem experts call “iron” – the chips needed for smartphones. China and Russia have been under US sanctions for a long time, and one cannot count on the fact that the Chinese will devote their capacities to the production of orders for Russian smartphones.
By the way, the Smartekosistema company, owned by the state giant Rostec, still cannot release the AYYA T2 model, because the Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC refused to cooperate with them after the United States, Japan and the Netherlands imposed another package of technological sanctions against Russia for attack on Ukraine.
Rostec still cannot release a new version of its AYYA T1 smartphone due to sanctions
In addition, local analysts do not believe in the commercial success of this whole undertaking. Even if it is possible to create any “sovereign” smartphone, only “turbo-patriots” will buy it. The rest simply will not understand why they need to switch from the usual and cheaper Xiaomi, Realmi or Oppo to the “originally Russian” analogue, which, in fact, will be assembled from Chinese components at a local factory.
And the parallel market has not gone away. Wealthy Russians continue to buy all the same sanctioned iPhones and Samsungs through “gray” imports, although they have become much more expensive than before.
Earlier, Focus wrote that AliExpress deprived the Russians of cheap drones for waging war in Ukraine.
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