Semi-legal vendors may spoil official iPhone sales in Ukraine

Semi-legal vendors may spoil official iPhone sales in Ukraine
Photo: Yevgeniy Musiyenko

On the eve of the official launch of Ukrainian sales of iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus online stores selling so-called grey (or semi-legal) handsets began reducing prices. At the end of September, the «smaller» model iPhone 6 with 16Gb memory could be ordered for US $2,000, while now the price has dropped to US $850 (UAH 11,999).

As Capital wrote earlier, this week the Asbis Company, which is the official supplier of iPhone in Ukraine, announced the launch of sales. Marketing manager of the company Kateryna Chmyshenko announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will become available from October 31. The price will be at the level of the price of iPhone 5S, when it was the main model of the line, which is UAH 10,999, she said.

Vendors are well prepared

A manager of the Stylus store says the price fell a week ago and continues to fall. «However, we do not know when and by how much,» he specified. The situation at online stores and Notus is similar. «The day before the price was UAH 200 higher,» informed a manager of Notus. Vendors do not deny that IMEI codes of smartphones are not included in the database of UkrChastotNadzor (Ukrainian State Center of Radio Frequencies). This means they have been imported into Ukraine illegally. Because of this the vendor can lower the price.

The Citrus chain of stores is already selling new iPhone handsets certified by UkrChastotNadzor. From the legal standpoint they are considered legal. However, Apple considers them unofficial since the supplier does not have an agreement with Apple Inc. After the launch of sales the cheapest iPhone 6 cost UAH 15,999 in Citrus stores. Now, their price has been cut to UAH 12,499.

Price killed iPhone 5S sales

iPhone 5S was the first Apple smartphone to be officially supplied to Ukraine. However, its official sales did not stir up hype among consumers. Retailers attributed such a weak reaction to the sales of grey handsets in many stores. According to assessments of manager of the Allo chain Valeriy Zolotukhin, the price of such smartphones could have been 20% lower than the official vendors. For instance, the «junior» model could be purchased in the Internet for UAH 7,700-8,500. Official vendors offered a similar device for UAH 10,999.

According to expert assessments, the sales volumes of iPhone 5S in Ukraine range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of handsets. «Clearly, the sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Ukraine will be higher than those of iPhone 5S: the official product will be available on the Ukrainian market from the very start of the life cycle of iPhone 6, while iPhone 5S appeared in Ukraine almost a year after the official launch of the model around the world,» says Chief of Photo Equipment and Mobile Devices Department at the Foxtrot chain Serhiy Teslenko. «So, it will not be difficult to beat the level of sales,» adds owner of iLand stores Yuriy Vlasyuk.

Retailers hope for better times

Vendors are hoping that pricing policy will be revised this time, though Asbis has not yet announced the final prices. «We expect that the prices of new official models of iPhone will be more competitive compared with grey, uncertified handsets,» says Teslenko. He believes that this will substantially increase the sales of the official product available in retail outlets of the Foxtrot chain.

In the iStudio chain of stores, which is the premium re-seller of Apple and is already accepting pre-orders, buyers are informed about the approximate price of iPhone 6 at UAH 13,000. The authorized re-seller of Apple — iLand — accepts pre-orders for iPhone 6 priced from UAH 15,620 and iPhone 6 Plus — from UAH 17,005.

«On our website we provide approximate prices for pre-orders. The actual price will most likely be approximately the same as that of previous models and identical to the price in Berlin or Moscow (around US $800 — Capital),» says Vlasyuk.

As Capital wrote earlier, the first shipment of iPhone 5S imported by Asbis was only 1,500 handsets. The number of smartphones the company will import in the next shipment has not been disclosed. However, Marketing Director of Citrus Viktor Sholoshenko says the sales of every new model of iPhone are higher than those of the previous model. «The Apple audience is highly loyal to the brand,» he noted.

Comments (1)
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Люда Савчук 17 February 2017, 20:23

Отлично конечно что снизилась цены на iphone, тем не менее знаю сайт где можно купить оригинал очень дешева.