Inside Yandex’s Hardware Business


Apr. 16 2019, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

Yandex is pursuing nearly $40 billion in the smart speaker market

In efforts to diversify its business outside the advertising industry, Yandex (YNDX) has entered the consumer hardware market, selling a range of devices from smart speakers to smartphones. In May 2018, Yandex launched a smart speaker device under the Yandex.Station brand, entering a market with a bright future. The global smart speaker market was valued at $2.2 billion in 2017 and is poised to reach $39.3 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research’s predictions.

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The smart speaker market is currently dominated by Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL), which held 35.5% and 30% global market shares, respectively, as of the end of 2018, according to Strategy Analytics data. Alibaba (BABA), Baidu (BIDU), and Xiaomi rounded out the top five with 7.3%, 5.7%, and 4.6% shares of the global market, respectively.

Foreign companies dominate Russia’s smartphone market

In December, Yandex extended its hardware footprint with its entry into the smartphone market via an Android-powered device called Yandex.Phone. Some 30 million smartphone devices were sold in Russia last year, with the value of the Russian smartphone market reaching a record $7.6 billion, according to data from IDC.

Russia’s smartphone market is currently dominated by foreign companies. China’s Huawei emerged as the top smartphone company in terms of unit sales in Russia last year, capturing a 28% share of the market, according to Counterpoint estimates. Samsung (SSNLF) came in second with a 26% market share, followed by Apple with an 11% market share.

Nonadvertising businesses contribute 24% of revenue

In addition to smart speakers and smartphones, Yandex’s hardware portfolio includes an onboard computer device called Yandex.Ultra for trucks and cars.

Yandex derived 24% of its revenue from nonadvertising operations such as cloud and hardware sales in the fourth quarter.


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