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Nearly Half of Urban Russian Cell Phone Users Are Using Smartphones

The average number of portable devices per consumer is rising rapidly in Russia and around the world thanks to the popularity of smartphones, a new survey found.

Smartphone penetration increased to 47 percent of respondents in Russia in 2013 with a corresponding increase to five portable devices per mobile user, according to Deloitte Touche's third Global Mobile Consumer Survey, published Thursday.

"In 2013, Russia faced a rapid growth in the number of portables per capita. About 66 percent of those gadgets are connected to the Internet thus forcing operators to upgrade existing infrastructure and refine their strategies," said Anton Shulga, Partner of Deloitte & Touche CIS.

The findings were based on an online survey of 2,000 Russian mobile phone users, primarily urban professionals, conducted between May and July 2013.

As was typical of developing markets, a large portion of Russian respondents, about 50 percent, wanted to purchase an LTE-enabled device and upgrade to LTE within a year, although users generally had little knowledge of the service and its advantages.

Single-function devices did poorly in competition with multi-function smartphones, but moderately priced phones with some advanced features, known as feature phones, did notably well, with penetration at one of the highest rates globally and 28 percent of respondents planning to buy a feature phone within 12 months.

The global study, which polled almost 40,000 consumers in 20 developed and developing countries, showed that ownership of mobile devices and the average number of such units per consumer have grown across the board.

The average mobile user owns or has access to between four and eight portable devices, more and more of which are connected to mobile networks.

Altogether, more than 2 billion smartphones, 300 million tablets and one billion portable personal computers will be in use worldwide by the end of 2013, the study found.

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