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Russia risks shortage of PCs and software

Russian consumers and businesses could face a shortage of IT equipment including PCs and software

Russia is at risk of a shortage of PCs, software and other IT equipment due to the ongoing exodus of Western suppliers and the ever-deteriorating economic situation in the country.  

According to the latest data, published by the local IT and computing distributor Marvel, PC sales in Russia for the first six months of 2022 amounted to only 1.18 million devices, 20.3% lower than a year earlier. Of these, sales of products from US suppliers HP and Dell – traditional leaders of the market – saw the biggest decline.  

“Sales of PCs, software and other similar equipment in Russia in the second quarter of the current year fell by 42.5% year-on-year,” said a Marvel spokesperson. “The drop, however, was partially offset by sales in the first quarter, which were at the same level as last year.” 

Sales of HP computers decreased by 49% compared with the same period in 2021, with about 80,000 PCs of the brand sold in total. The market leader was China’s Lenovo, which saw a sales increase of 3% to 95,000 units, giving it 8% of the market. 

Dell representatives confirmed that it closed its offices and ceased all Russian operations in mid-August.  

A spokesman at the US company said: “Back in February, we made the decision not to sell, service or support products in Russia, Belarus, and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, in addition to the already embargoed Crimea.” 

In the meantime, amid the ever-declining presence of foreigners in the Russian market, sales by domestic companies are growing. For example, the local company Aquarius – a Russian producer and developer of computer equipment – increased sales by 12% for the reporting period to 61,000 devices, holding up to 5% of the market.

Among the other leading local players are DNS/DEXP and Depo. But, according to analysts, given that all of these brands almost completely use foreign components in their production, it is difficult to call them truly Russian. 

Analysts also said there was an increasing trend of high consumer interest in buying parts for PCs with subsequent self-assembly. That could be explained by the desire of local consumers to save money, as their purchasing power has significantly declined in recent months.

Amid a turbulent economic situation in the country, PC users are trying to use their equipment for as long as possible, and purchase a new one only when the old one becomes completely unusable. The biggest demand is currently observed for video cards, RAM, hard disks, computer chassis and processors. 

PC sales could have been even lower, but there was growth in the corporate segment of the market, which is mainly due to its active switch to domestic IT technologies and computer equipment. 

According to analysts of the Russian Vedomosti business paper, there are no signs of improvement in the current situation in the fourth quarter, which is also due to the poor situation with consumer lending in Russia.  

The decline in sales and the market is also due to the vast migration of Russian IT experts – the main users of such equipment –  out of the country after the announced mobilisation in Russia. Most Russian IT experts hope to avoid military draft, despite its recent end in Russia and promises of the government and the Ministry of Defence to defer from military duty. 

Analysts expect the possible return and partial resumption of work of other US IT and software corporations, given the cancellation of some of the restrictions by the US Treasury on the supply of IT technologies and computing equipment to Russia on 8 April. In particular, the department allowed exports and sales to the Russian Federation (directly or through other countries) of the software, services, equipment or technologies necessary for the exchange of information on the internet. 

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