Yandex.Market and sales data - Apple vs. Samsung

Apple was able to educate a whole generation of consumers who care not only about the properties of the product, but in many respects its success, that is, such an intangible characteristic as the halo of success that accompanies any iPhone owner. But if there is a successful product, then there must be an antagonist, and Samsung's flagships are the best fit for its role, especially since they occupy the lion's share of the Android smartphone market. At the same time, Apple is endowed with some special properties in the eyes of fans, it does not play by the rules of the market, it stands outside this market. Fans transfer these qualities to themselves, and their choice, as it were, says that they are also not like everyone else, they are special. It's good that such people are becoming less and less every year, however, the aggressive minority of fans is becoming more active. Why? The answer lies in the fact that even they feel the cognitive dissonance and difference in what Apple and other manufacturers are doing. But for now, they cannot admit it to themselves.

For a couple of weeks I have been collecting letters and comments that illustrate this situation well, let's take a look at some of them:

  • it is clear that Samsung is not sold for any money, the iPhone puts them on both blades;
  • Note 9 will never be sold, God forbid, a hundred pieces are sold to someone, but Max Apple sells tens of thousands in Russia;
  • iPhone 8 is the most popular iPhone, only it outsells all Samsung flagships combined.
  • As a cherry, I will cite this letter from Stanislav, I removed only some passages that are not important in our context, the meaning of the letter has not changed:

Good evening! I have been reading your site for a long time and decided to write for the first time. You constantly refer either to IDC data, or to GFC data, or to your own. Apple’s share in them is undeservedly small, I see sales in the Restoration store where I work and I can say that apparently Samsung, Xiaomi or someone else pays you and everyone else for data distortion. I calculated how many iPhones we sell per day, multiplied by the number of stores, and it turns out that the iPhone share is at least two times lower in your calculations than the real one. I see it with my own eyes and you will have to try very hard to convince me otherwise. Your virtual numbers cannot deceive anyone.”

As a joke, I told a friend about this, we discussed this issue, and, as usually happens, an idea was born in our discussion. And how can a person who is far from the market, but not biased by anyone, who has no predilection for a particular brand, learn about what is really happening? Assume that all market research companies are biased and publish incorrect data, they are not to be trusted. Retail players may also be pursuing their preferences and fighting for bonuses or other preferences. Where to start unwinding the ball to understand who sells better and who is worse?

Go to the store and talk to the sales people like Stanislav that he wrote the letter? This is a rather bad idea, since the overall picture of the world will still not be formed, and you will have a distorted view. Such conversations are especially interesting in branded retail, where only one brand is sold, where its popularity does not raise any questions, since there are no competitors. And we decided that an adequate starting point would be to view the sales numbers of some aggregator, for example, Yandex.Market. That is, platforms where different sellers are brought together, the system automatically shows how many goods were sold over a certain period of time. For me, this is secondary information, I have never looked at aggregators, I have not evaluated sales in this channel. It's like with Amazon, in the US it is a huge online retailer, which occupies one and a half percent of the mobile device market. And so, when someone claims an unqualified success in this channel, I always know that this is nonsense in terms of the market and, as a rule, a rehearsed action. On the other hand, if this success is repeated in other channels, then it is quite real, not all successful sales are invented by marketers in one channel.

The statistics of visiting Yandex.Market speaks for itself, it is the largest reference platform on the Russian-speaking Internet, 17-18 million people monthly, which is up to a third of Runet users.

When starting this exercise, I did not know in advance what the result would be and how Yandex.Market reflects the market situation, how distorted or correct this data is. The methodology was simple to disgrace - you open a product card, look at the number of sales for two months, write out the cost in the federal network, and that's it. For convenience, I summarized all the data in a table, and for comparison, I took the sales of flagships from Apple and Samsung. Unfortunately, for the iPhone Xr, the number of devices sold is not indicated; instead, the numbers of page visits hang.

This is a surprising exception to the rule, which can only be explained by one thing: small sales and, apparently, the fact that Apple was asked to remove statistics. Please note that a promo page was made for Xr, as on the Apple website, other flagships of the company did not receive this, all pages are standard for Yandex.Market. Knowing that Apple insists that the partners of the company place such pages in their stores, we can confidently say that this request was also in this case. It is impossible to assume that the Yandex.Market team drew and posted something on its own. But with this exception, there are statistics for other models, I will give these data in a table. There is a screenshot of each page that was visited and where the data was taken from, I will give an example of such a file. In order not to litter the article with the same type of screenshots, I made an archive, you can download it from the link.

So, let's get down to the fun part.

Sales of devices on Yandex.Market for two months (as of 01/28/2019) Model Sales in pieces Price in the federal network, rubles Appearance on the market iPhone 7 32GB 2952 34,990 September 2016 iPhone 7 128GB 1021 41,990 September 2016 iPhone 7 256GB (grey, not official) 54 39 500 September 2016 iPhone 7 Plus 32GB 902 41 990 September 2016 iPhone 7 Plus 128GB 813 49990 September 2016 iPhone 8 64GB 3028 46 990 September 2017 iPhone 8 256GB 5 Plus54 66 960 September 2017 iPhone 8 256GB 5 Plus54 66 960 September 8 990 September 2017 iPhone 8 Plus 256GB 554 67 190 September 2017 iPhone X 64GB 6987 65 990 November 2017 iPhone X 256GB 1593 74 990 November 2017 iPhone XS 64GB 2412 80 990 September 2018 iPhone XS 256GB 2449 91 990 September 2018 iPhone XS Max 64GB 1703 89 990 September 2018 iPhone XS MAX 256GB 2063 100 990 September 2018 iPhone XS Max 512GB 779 116 990 September 2018 Galaxy S8 4392 39 990 March 2017 Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB 1811 44 ​​990 March 2017 Galaxy S8 Plus 128GB 217 49 990 March 2017 Galaxy S9 64GB 3657 49,990 March 2018 Galaxy S9 128GB (grey market only) 407 37,990 March 2018 Galaxy S9+ 64GB 2448 61,990 March 2018 Galaxy S9+ 128GB (grey) 685 42,000 March 2018 Galaxy S9+ 256GB 441 69 2990 March 490 August 2018 Galaxy Note9 512 GB 642 91 990 August 2018 Source: Yandex.Market on 01/28/2019, mobile-review.com

I want to say right away that it turned out to be a fairly accurate cut of what is happening with the sales of flagships between Apple and Samsung, other companies with their top solutions in the segment above 30,000 rubles do not play any significant role, they collect crumbs after Apple and Samsung. For example, Sony XZ3 6/64GB sold 124 units in two months. A very low figure for the Russian market, in every sense it can be ignored. The same top-end Xiaomi does not get out of the segment of 40,000 rubles, they simply do not exist here. For example, Mi Mix 3 128 GB is noticeable in sales, these are 712 pieces at a price of 35,000 rubles. Another price tier shows that Xiaomi is not perceived as an A-brand for which they are willing to pay more. And, comparing in this segment with the sales of both Samsung and Apple, we see that Xiaomi is noticeably weaker.

The most popular flagship in Russia is the iPhone X, its sales are noticeably higher than those of Samsung of the same generation (S9/S9+), and they are also higher than those of the Xs/Xs Max. The reason lies in the fact that the latest generation of iPhone does not offer anything that would be missing in this device. The current generation of iPhone is selling well within the market, but if 2 Units Of 2 Bedroom Apartment ( A Plot Of Land) is compared with what it was a year ago, then we will see a general downward trend in sales of flagships, this segment is shrinking, and sales go into price segment 40-60 thousand rubles. However, this is not visible from these data for two months. But let's imagine that we have similar data for last year at hand.

With Samsung sales, everything is obvious, they are plus or minus at the same level as usual, plus there is an expectation of a new generation of Galaxy, there is a seasonal demand. There is no need to say that the Galaxy line is an ugly duckling. It sells well and in noticeable volumes, it is the most popular flagship on Android, close to no other company. It is curious that if we calculate the sales of all Android devices in the segment of more than 50,000 rubles, then the bill with Apple will be equal, that is, iOS and Android will share the market approximately equally. But at the same time, each individual company with Android smartphones has hundreds of sales in the segment, that is, it would seem that they do not play a role. But they take it not by mass, but by the number of brands.

I did this exercise with only one intention - any thinking person can do exactly the same thing, form a picture of the world and then think about how far from reality the data of research companies are or how close they are to what is happening. Nobody says that everything needs to be taken for granted, in our age there are many ways to find information about the position of companies and their sales, I gave one of the indirect ways that allows you to evaluate trends. For example, you can absolutely estimate from this data how much storage customers prefer on the iPhone. You can estimate how quickly the demand for old models disappears and how it depends on their cost. A lot of interesting things can be drawn from this table, and the initial data is open and available to everyone, there would be a desire to do this.

It is clear that those comments that are given at the beginning of this article are dictated by fanaticism and have nothing to do with reality. In my opinion, the volume of sales of a particular product is an indirect evidence of its success, but not something that should be an incentive to buy. Nevertheless, completely different points should come to the fore, first of all, convenience for you, the availability of certain opportunities. And to say that any phone in the world can make you successful is to sign your stupidity and limitations. Don't you think so?