The exit of foreign companies, coupled with sanctions against Russia caused by the war in Ukraine, led to a sharp decrease in the supply of laptops and keyboards with Russian layout. Even parallel imports did not help to solve the problem: the release of keyboards depends on the country of destination, manufacturers do not apply Cyrillic, knowing that the products do not go to Russia. Due to problems with the supply of Russian-language keyboards, the state order is already suffering - input devices with a Russian layout are registered in tenders. This was reported by Kommersant with reference to market participants and representatives of large retailers.
Andrey Latyshev, Head of Laptops and PCs at Marvel Distribution, told the publication that he expects the share of equipment without Russian layout to grow to 10% by the end of 2022. He notes that the growth was caused by an increase in supplies of parallel imports, as well as the entry of little-known Chinese brands to the Russian market.
The lack of a sufficient amount of equipment with a “Russian layout” is already jeopardizing the execution of government contracts for the supply of so-called automated workstations (AWPs), which include a system unit, a monitor and peripheral equipment. A government spokesman told the publication that without them, the state tender simply cannot be considered fulfilled.
“According to the terms of the tender, the contractor cannot deliver an workstation without a keyboard, with an English layout - also cannot. Suppliers are now looking for ways to buy keyboards with the Russian layout, ”says a representative of the Cabinet of Ministers.
The way out of the situation is the engraving of the Russian alphabet on devices imported by parallel imports. However, this will require opening the packaging and breaking the presentation, which will automatically affect sales. Moreover, the manufacturer's warranty will be at risk, so large networks will offer this service additionally, after the purchase of the goods, the newspaper notes. Another possible source of the “Russian layout” is the market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), where many companies supply their products, including those with Russian letters, due to the many Russian-speaking immigrants from the former USSR, but the publication could not estimate the volume of these deliveries.
“If laptops or keyboards are intended for the Russian market or the EAEU, the products have a Russian layout. In other cases, there is the possibility of engraving, including in the Russian Federation, ”the Ministry of Industry and Trade assures, noting that additional engraving with letters is inexpensive.
The publication, citing a major retailer, notes that the cost of engraving fluctuates around 1.5-2 thousand rubles, however, for some equipment, for example, you will have to remove the buttons, which can disrupt the warranty service by the manufacturer. Demand for the service has already grown one and a half to two times, and it comes from large companies, as well, said Yury Zhogov, manager of McGraver workshops. He also noted that earlier his company worked mainly with equipment from the USA and Europe, but now the main supplies come from Turkey and the UAE.
The Russian authorities expect that parallel imports will help maintain the level of consumption and imports into the country. All over the world there is no single interpretation of parallel imports, in some countries it is equated with smuggling, in others - with "gray imports", that is, products with a dubious legal status. Some countries consider the importation of products without the permission of the copyright holder a violation of customs laws and rules for the use of trademarks, brands and licenses.