Luxury portable consumer electronics was already a weak category in Russia even prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, with retail volume sales in decline since 2018. One of the key obstacles to the development of luxury smartphones is that these models do not differ much from regular smartphones in the user experience, rather, they are simply provided with specific packages of data and apps et al, at a higher price.
Techy savvy consumers in Russia have embraced the convenience and novelty of luxury wearables; however, like luxury mobile phones the area of luxury wearables is still relatively niche. The difference between luxury and standard models is largely based on design, with the technology being the same, thus limiting interest in these products.
Citizen Watch Co Ltd maintained its lead in luxury portable consumer electronics in 2020, closely followed by Apple Inc. Citizen Watch Co owes its success to its Frederique Constant brand, while Apple gained share through its Apple Watch Hermès.
In general, luxury goods have a core consumer base in Russia consisting of rich consumers along with those looking for affordable luxury when the economic conditions allow it. The challenge for luxury mobile phones is that these products largely only appeal to the small group of rich consumers for whom money is less of a concern, with those seeking affordable luxury products likely to spend their money elsewhere.
Luxury wearables is an area with stronger sales potential, with this being tied to the presence of popular brands of luxury timepieces alongside tech giants such as Apple. One of the main obstacles is likely to lie in the competition these products face from luxury timepieces, with smartphones able to carry out many of the tasks of wearables, while luxury timepieces are often seen to be more of a solid investment and a stronger status symbol.
The easing of travel restrictions in and out of Russia could be a blessing and a curse for luxury portable consumer electronics. On one hand, the return of foreign visitors should generate some increased sales, with international retail expenditure accounting for 12% of retail value sales of luxury portable consumer electronics prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Portable Consumer Electronics industry in Russia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Luxury portable consumer electronics include luxury mobile phones, luxury MP3 players and luxury wearables.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Portable Consumer Electronics research and analysis database.
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