Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom – What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

Hey.

Happy May holidays! Usually this is the time of barbecues, forays into the dacha, but what if you are already there and have redone all current affairs? The amount of work these days exceeds reasonable limits, and for the first time in my life I have a TV that runs in the background during breakfast. I accidentally hooked up the series “The Other Side of the Moon”, it is 2012, but I watched it with pleasure. The BBC adaptation of Life on Mars has been very successful, albeit somewhat lengthy. My experience only proves that, living in the stream of new products, we often miss something that is of particular interest, but has lost its novelty.

Someone has cursed you and me, and we live in times of change, often without even realizing their scale. I have a strong feeling that what is happening today is a prelude to other events that will alter our lives, more precisely, the lives of people all over the planet. There will be no exceptions. And it is all the more surprising to watch how many cling to life, which is on a knurled track, still believe that the phone can say something about its owner. Probably, this is still a combination of factors – a phone, a car, places of rest, accessories. And this is what I want to talk about in this issue of Spillikins, about what decisions people make and what they buy, how to buy a flagship with the latter and why do it. And also how you can buy headphones for double the price of a good model and why it is a good choice for some people. Go!

Content

  1. Turbulence in electronics sales – up and down
  2. The camera market is experiencing a severe crisis – a drop in production and sales
  3. First quarter results – falling sales for all or almost all
  4. Startup culture, or about Linza car registrar
  5. Montblanc Wireless Headphones for the Rich
  6. Pshik from the Moscow government, or how the Social Monitoring application works

Turbulence in electronics sales – up and down

The Russian electronics market is very different from the European, American or any other, as it demonstrates completely different consumer behavior. The transition to rational purchases in our case is possible only through pain and suffering, apparently there is no other way. In March, sales of flagships increased, and for all companies without exception. The growth in sales in the segment from seventy thousand rubles is such that one wonders where people suddenly got money, where they were until recently. But the analysis of the sales themselves allows shedding light on this situation; it shows an amazing anomaly. For simplicity, I took the data for January and February, compared it with the previous year, I realized that there were changes, but they are typical for the market as a whole, correlate with what is happening in other countries. He assumed that sales growth in March due to a change in the priorities of some buyers remains at the same level, and then he began to carefully study the numbers. What has opened does not inspire much optimism.

About 80% of new flagship sales (the same delta from the regular market) are various forms of loans and installments. Having the opportunity to see what devices the flagship buyers used, we get another look at the picture. For example, some of the buyers of the iPhone 11 Pro have used budget-level smartphones until recently (up to $ 150 at the time of market launch). The term of use of a smartphone for such buyers is 4 years. Mostly these are men, about 85% of them. If you look at the buyers of the S20 in all variants, the picture will repeat itself, it is similar.

My hypothesis was that most of those who are shown in statistics as an unexpected increase in sales until recently could not afford flagships, most likely they cannot afford them now. It will be possible to check this as the installments and loans are repaid, at the moment you can only selectively interview people, which was done. And here the character of the inhabitants of our country was revealed a little, which is striking in its irrationality.

Of the several dozen flagship buyers who took installments / loans, 72% of people did it for the first time. That is, they used such a tool for the first time, and not that they took a smartphone with it. For the first time! 84% did not have the full amount to buy, they could not accumulate that kind of money during the year. The main leitmotif of the purchase can be broken down into several considerations:

  • The price of a smartphone will rise more strongly, so it is profitable to buy it now and pay in installments;
  • I never could afford such a smartphone, but I really want to;
  • This is a bargain, since the flagship will serve me for a very, very long time;
  • My image on the labor market will be higher, as they will see an expensive phone (popular answer! While some people are unemployed!).

It is impossible to say that people approached the purchase wisely, they bought a toy that they cannot afford. One gets the feeling that this is an emotional reaction to a crisis. You know, as it often happens with us, you need to fall to the very bottom, and already push off from it, and up. Such a consumer approach is typical for all product categories, which can be conventionally called massive, on smartphones it is simply more clearly visible. And it turns out that buyers in Russia behave quite differently than in other countries. No one has switched to economy mode, moreover, expenses are growing that buyers cannot physically afford. They are spending not just future income, they are spending money that they did not have before. This is an extremely alarming sign, since it will hit the entire economy, there will be no exceptions. Moreover, in order to pay money for phones, people will have to starve in the truest sense of the word, or abandon the purchased devices and try to sell them on the secondary market. That will, in turn, reduce the cost of supply on the secondary housing, prices will go down. Apparently, the path to rationality lies through the emotional perception of the crisis and such a plunge to the very bottom of the debt pit. It is possible that people knowingly want to put themselves in unbearable conditions in order to start moving. As for me, it looks extremely stupid, since such consumer behavior does not bring anything good.

On the other hand, self-isolation has hit large retail players hard, forcing them to reconsider their approach to the market. They try not to advertise discounts, they offer various promo codes, but the cost of many smartphones (and other electronics) is very low. Let’s take a look at MTS (additional discount WOW2020), for example, the price for S10 / S10 + turns out to be very, very good – 39 and 990 rubles.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

I highly recommend tracking the cost by promotional codes and remember to enter them (many people see the discount on the product page and think that it is final!). The prices turn out to be very low, and in MTS now there is another attraction of unprecedented generosity. The cost of many models has been reduced to the level of purchase prices or even lower.

I ran through other operators, for example, in “Beeline” there is also an attraction of unprecedented generosity, for a number of models, in addition to standard discounts, there are also additional ones. Looking at the Galaxy A01, this is the entry-level model.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

The discounted price at Beeline is 4 rubles (it is written that for Alfa-Bank customers, they said on the phone that it doesn’t matter how to pay, the main thing is to buy!).

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

Another example is the Galaxy A30s model; in addition to the standard discount on the device, Beeline offers an additional 2 rubles. In total, 000 rubles, this is the lowest price on the market, and the device is just damn good for that kind of money.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

But most of all I like the discount on the Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, this is an extremely interesting device with S Pen support, a kind of democratic version of a unique line. Do you know how much they give him to “MVideo”? For 29 rubles, plus the JBL Tune 990 TWS headphones are given free of charge (so they cost 120 rubles).

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

And large companies have a lot of such shares, all of them are connected with the fact that in conditions of quarantine for large players, the need to maintain turnover and maintain a client base comes to the fore. And there is simply no question that you need to make money on this. It completely reverses the market, breaks it down. It’s one thing when there is a slender pricing policy, it is quite another when federal players across the country offer top-of-the-line models at minimal prices. One of the best-selling smartphones in Russia is the Galaxy A51, its cost should be 19 rubles. It is sold in reality in large federal chains for 990 rubles. This cost is noticeably lower than one might have expected, since the crisis is taking its toll.

And it completely breaks the way the same Samsung lineup looks like. The new Galaxy A31, which is positioned as a more affordable version of the A51, comes out at a cost of 17 rubles, which is a thousand more than what is asked for the A990. In the younger model, there is a plus in that the battery is 51 mAh (in the A5000 51 mAh), but at the same time the MediaTek Helio P4000 chipset.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

New models from Samsung have already arrived, so reviews will be coming soon. But there is plenty of confusion in addition to the price leapfrog on the market. The same A41 that comes out simultaneously with the A31 is a simplified copy of it with a smaller screen diagonal, a 3500 mAh battery instead of 5000 mAh, with no camera for macro photography. In a word, everything is the same, but simpler and less – the price is 2 rubles higher.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

How did it happen? I will make a bold assumption that all even models in the Galaxy line are not the most important, often niche ones (A20 is an exception). That is why such a strange price positioning.

But back to electronics sales in general, they are excellent in the first quarter in Russia, and there is a feeling that an era of prosperity has come, April has already demonstrated that not everything is so great. But the situation is much better than in any other country in the world, the feeling that the crisis has not come in their heads, that the shops are not closed. Sales are going on, and it is impossible to call them sluggish (it was only a week and a half when they went into quarantine, sales there noticeably sagged). For buyers, this means that you need to keep track of the offers that are – often new models come out already at a discount (some Chinese smartphones demonstrate miracles, the new model costs 30 thousand rubles, and is sold for 24 thousand, and these are not tricks, but a display of the struggle for market share, which looks very comical).

How long will this all last? At least until the moment when the shops start to work in full, and we are not released into the streets. And this, apparently, will extend to the whole of May. Therefore, if you want to buy a smartphone at a profit, then you should turn your head, read our news and guides on promotions, then definitely do not miss out on good offers.

The camera market is experiencing a severe crisis – a drop in production and sales

In addition to airlines and travel agencies, the crisis is hitting the photography industry. Smartphones systematically replaced ordinary cameras in the hands of tourists, gradually ordinary SLR cameras became the lot of professionals that photograph certain events. But there remained a large layer of travelers who wanted to get the highest quality pictures from their trips, and they kept the main sales.

The seasonality of camera sales is clearly visible in the statistics from CIPA, the association publishes sales statistics from year to year, this is the most accurate data on this market.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

To understand how consumer preferences have changed, let’s look at sales in 2010 – they totaled 121.5 million units. In 2019, sales dropped to 15.2 million units. The difference is almost an order of magnitude, and the decline in sales continues, the lack of tourist trips and travel kicks out another support on which the sales of cameras were held. There remains a small part of those for whom cameras are professional tools and they are attached to them by a large number of lenses. I had hoped that Canon would release the 5D5 this year, but it is possible that these plans will be revised.

Digital cameras are not essential, they are a fairly narrow market. And it is interesting to look at it, since the strategies of companies here will be very different from those that we see in the market of smartphones and other mass electronics. A decrease in value is incapable of increasing sales in a noticeable way, hence the fixing of prices at the first stage, and then their growth. The reasoning in companies will look simply outrageous – why reduce prices in a falling market, this will make it impossible to invest in R&D, as well as invest money in marketing. And this is a dead end road.

In principle, the existing players have enough money to develop digital photography, but not enough to become strong players in the field of computational photography, here the advantage is on the side of those who make smartphones and processors. Small sales of digital cameras in Russia fell by about 60% in March, this is a reflection of what is happening not only in our country, but all over the world. A little later, CIPA will show figures that, most likely, they will erase the seasonal factor, it will stop working for this year – there are no trips, there is no need for cameras.

Not so long ago, Canon decided to stop developing EF lenses, that is, glass for DSLRs. The company is actively developing lenses for mirrorless cameras; this is also a market requirement. This does not really scare me, since the existing lenses will last for decades and I definitely won’t be able to get anything new. And ES’s 33 years of existence is a long time.

But I get the feeling that in a few years a person with a large camera will be perceived either as a professional photographer or as an amateur who is very passionate about photography. This perception has existed in recent years, but now it will intensify, the number of those who use large cameras will decrease dramatically.

On the secondary market, there are many offers of used equipment at very interesting prices (beware of scammers, never buy a pig in a poke!). It is possible that amateurs and travelers are starting to get rid of their cameras before prices go down completely.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

I am more than satisfied with my camera, I wanted to change it to 5D5, because I thought that this would be the last camera of its kind, and it would be unprofitable to refuse a dozen lenses. But it is possible that for me this particular camera will become the main one for the next years. Since 2012, it has served me faithfully, for all the time there was a minor breakdown, the loop on the board rotted. And a craftsman repaired it for me. Considering how many countries and places on the planet the camera has traveled, as it got wet in the forgotten corners of the world, this is just a miracle. Great car.

extracurricular reading:

First quarter results – falling sales for all or almost all

Quarterly reports were issued for all companies, so reports from research agencies immediately appeared, for the first time the differences between them are quite large, the ambiguity of market assessments in such conditions affects. For example, Canalys evaluated the first quarter market like this.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

According to the company, in the first quarter we saw the largest drop in sales in the history of the smartphone market, of the notable players, only Xiaomi showed growth, all the others fell. Apple’s result looks fantastic, as the drop was only 8%, despite the fact that the company did not supply iPhones from China for about a month, that is, there was nowhere to take the goods. All indirect evidence indicates that it was impossible to physically saturate the channels with so many iPhones. However, the data is just that. You also need to recall the AT & T report, in the first quarter, hardware sales fell by $ 600 million, which is at least 50% of iPhone sales. The drop in sales in China was also noticeable. But the Canalys data looks different against this background. I think the reason is in how the average price of an iPhone is calculated and how much comes out in the end.

But IDC presented their version of sales of iPhone and other brands, it is even more fantastic.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

Pay attention to the graph, it shows a turning point for Apple, after shipments to the channel in the fourth quarter, a sharp decline in sales in the first. But at the same time, IDC believes that, in fact, Apple’s sales have not changed in any way. And iPhone buyers continue to buy iPhones because they have not experienced any changes in the market. This is, as in the previous report, supply to channels, not retail. But the supply to the channels is directly dependent on sales, partners will not buy what is not sold on a scale. In March, many experienced a shortage of iPhones in the world, as there were no shipments after the Chinese New Year, including Apple temporarily stopped replacing defective devices with new ones. Against this background, we see that sales have not decreased in any way. Is it logical? Of course it’s logical. Especially against the backdrop of February sales in China, which fell 4.5 times for Apple.

I can only praise Apple for doing a good job with research agencies and drawing such numbers for the iPhone, they do not find any confirmation in real life. It somehow reminded me of the inflated figures of Nokia’s reports, when the reality was greatly embellished, but these figures were voiced not by Nokia itself, but by those very research companies. The crisis is so strong that any tools are used to hold out at least a little longer.

Let me remind you that Apple, after they began to lose the smartphone market, refused to give exact sales figures, this was done deliberately. This quarter, for the first time in many years, Apple refused to forecast its sales for the second quarter (calendar, of course). The turbulence in the market is such that it is impossible to predict sales. But if you look at the report for the first quarter of Apple or Samsung, then everything is fine in them, the feeling that the crisis has not been taken into account and its first manifestations will be in the reporting of the second quarter.

There has never been such a crisis before us, there has never been the closure of entire countries and cities, the shutdown of shops and entire industries. The unemployment rate is at its highest worldwide since the Second World War. And against this background, we see that quite nicely combed reports appear, in which this is not visible. Believing in such an alternative universe with great difficulty, it is rather the use of financial tricks that can be done once, at most twice, but cannot be repeated indefinitely. And the stock market lives in its own kind of parallel world, where the influence of this crisis is completely absent. Surprisingly, a farce is unfolding before our eyes, in which corporations and states are trying to convince us, private investors, that everything is in order and there are small, insignificant problems. This bubble will burst, and sooner rather than later. And instead of slowly and under control to blow it off, it will happen in the form of a collapse of everything and everyone. And it will be possible to write off anything on this, so it is profitable and more convenient for everyone. For ordinary people, this means that we will be hit much harder than it could have hit with a gradual decline in all markets.

I don’t want to be Cassandra, but what is happening today with information, a distortion of the real state of affairs in the markets, is a phantasmagoria. The picture does not correspond to reality. On the other hand, the collapse of the real estate market, which happened quite recently in the United States, led to a global crisis, developing exactly the same scenario. Watch the movie The Big Short (2015), which explains very clearly how the financiers lied, fought and lied again. And what did it lead to then. Today everything is much more serious, but financiers are not just lying, they are trying to grab the maximum from the world economies, as they understand that everything will be very bad in the future. And corporations also participate in this game, since it is also beneficial for them, they are part of this scheme. It is sad that the previous world crisis did not teach anything, the rake race continues.

Startup culture, or about Linza car registrar

A year and a half ago, the Linza car registrar was presented in Moscow, and voice control was added to it. A very strange device, from the point of view of the hardware it looked, to put it mildly, not the way it seemed to me to be correct – it was heated like a stove. And even with the price that was broken for it, it was somehow strange. But a startup, the first device of its kind and all that comes from it.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

I wrote in Spillikins about the car recorder, while I was on a trip, they sent it to me for trial, but, as usually happens with not the most interesting, important devices, it was forgotten and dropped out of my plans for acquaintance. Sorting out the debris from the boxes, I discovered Linza, decided that it was not a bad reason to renew our acquaintance and see what happened to this device in a year and a half.

The first surprise was that it was impossible to register with the service! It throws an error. I attributed it to local problems with the service, postponed it for a week. A week later, it all happened again. The company’s website indicates that from April 20, the functionality of the device will change, in particular, they refuse to use voice functions! This is the trick that was promoted for this registrar. Also, you cannot upload your tracks to the cloud, as it was before. No more event notifications. In a word, some kind of nonsense. I was especially amused by the signature that the rest of the functions are still working unchanged.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

Judging by the downloads of the application, there are just over 500 users of this registrar on Android, and I think there are a little less of them in the App Store. In total, it turns out that in the first year this registrar was sold in a meager amount, and the developer simply abandoned it.

I wrote to support that registration in the application was broken, in response I received a standard unsubscribe that the functionality has changed and you can find the list of changes at the following link. I’ve already read this list! I already know!

Any device can fail, there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that in this case, too, you need to fulfill your obligations to those few who entrusted you with their money. At least spend money on support so that she can adequately explain what the problem is and what the reasons are. And not just hammer it all in and derail. The culture of startups doesn’t even suggest that they might fail, but in vain. Failure is part of the story, and you need to be prepared for it, there is nothing wrong with that. The bad news is that when a failure happens, no one is ready for it, either morally or in terms of the budget. There is never a plan B, and it should exist from the first day of creating a product.

I read the Linza reviews from the beginning of 2019, I got a boost of vivacity. I was glad that the box had fallen over among other unimportant devices. On the other hand, even in Spillikins there were many moments that I saw at the presentation, strong overheating of the case is one of them. In reviews, this is usually silent. This partly explains my distrust of a large number of startups, regardless of their budgets.

For example, you can remember the virtual reality startup Magic Leap, which looks like a scam despite the impressive list of those who invested in it. More precisely, this is a Theranos-style startup, when in the absence of a product, money is attracted for an idea, and then they try to create a product. In the end, disappointment arises, investors count losses. On April 22, there were mass layoffs at Magic Leap (minus a thousand employees!), At the end of April it turned out that their device had flaws with the battery and it could swell.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

But beautiful glasses! The revolution we were promised is also worth a lot. Over the five years of its existence, the company has attracted $ 2.6 billion in investments, until recently it had 2000 employees. But, apparently, the company simply will not survive 2020. Throwing, an attempt to change strategy and invent a new product. All of this is typical of startups that do not have a real product.

These two stories complement each other perfectly – no matter the size of the company, the important thing is that the approach remains the same plus or minus. And he does not imply failure, and when he comes, then everything crumbles like a sand castle.

Montblanc Wireless Headphones for the Rich

It’s hard to argue that headphones have become a kind of reflection of who we are. This is a fashion accessory that is perceived by many not in terms of sound, capabilities, but because it will tell others about us. For example, I like the positioning of the new Marshall headphones and the promotional photos that the company took.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

So, Marshall Monitor II ANC are wireless noise canceling headphones, they came to me, and I’ll tell you about them in the near future. It turns out that you can test noise canceling headphones not only on board an aircraft, a lawn mower is also great for this. I liked the headphones, they are very interesting, although they are interesting in terms of sound, noise cancellation is not up to my beloved Sony ones.

But I wanted to share with other headphones that cost an impressive 42 thousand rubles. Almost forty-three, to be exact. For this money, you can buy two pairs of Sony, which is already impressive. So, headphones from Montblanc.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

Headphones from Montblanc are made to catch the eye, the name – MB 01, that is, this is the first model in the collection, in three different colors. The delivery set is modest, there is not even a hard case, although the travel headphones are only a soft bag.

But you know what amazed me, this is the first time I come across this and have never seen it in other products (I don’t know, it’s so everywhere or I was so lucky). You open the box and a floral scent spills over the room, a very pleasant perfume. Unexpectedly and unambiguously unusual. As if I got into an expensive boutique of some brand, where a pleasant aroma of eau de toilette splashed in the air. Mood creates and adjusts to a pleasant mood.

Buying accessories from Montblanc is not about their technical capabilities, it’s about a lifestyle – a kind of demonstration of their capabilities. Someone can buy good headphones from Sony, while others can afford Montblanc without regard to price. It is difficult to argue with the fact that in the world there are a huge number of people who want to emphasize their financial capabilities, to stand out with their help. And this product will definitely suit them.

The headphones sound, by the way, not bad, however, and noise cancellation in them is also implemented with dignity. On the level of Bose, but not in the same way as Sony. In general, there is an interesting trend – headphone manufacturers have to choose. Or they implement great noise cancellation, but then you need to forget that the headphones will become great in the field of sound (they are great for everyone except audiophiles). Or focus on sound, but then sacrifice noise reduction. Here is just the second case, headphones, like Marshall, are quite curious. Price? It is quite at the level of other accessories from Montblanc and will not frighten the target audience at all.

Pshik from the Moscow government, or how the Social Monitoring application works

You know, I am closely watching how the situation is developing in terms of the IT component of this crisis and what the Moscow government is doing. I have not met such a level of incompetence for a long time, this is the absence of a working hotline for applications or registration of passes, these are decisions that are made without minimal thinking about why it is needed and why. There is nothing to be proud of, I just want to understand why it was done this way. Can’t they do otherwise? Do not want?

In a crisis situation, it is important that people can receive reliable information, that they are treated with the utmost respect and do not create problems out of the blue. This is the basis. This is what needs to be done here and now. It turns out exactly the opposite, and let’s look at this using the example of the “Social Monitoring” application. And in order not to be unfounded, I will quote a letter from Alexander Prokhorov, they paint the situation in bright colors:

Dear Eldar!

I am writing to you, as there is almost no hope for a solution to the global Moscow problem when processing our personal data during a pandemic through official channels. Apparently, only widespread publicity can lead to the emergence of clarity of what is really going on outside the walls of the mighty data centers used by the mayor’s office.

A small spoiler – the mayor’s office and the circle of persons affiliated to it, under the guise of a pandemic, apparently decided to collect all possible personal and user data while spying on self-isolated ones. Moreover, in volumes clearly significantly larger than is required to combat the spread of the virus, and much larger than indicated in the agreement for the processing of this very data. And it is impossible to give up this happiness – a fine, an observer, a prison.

I did not find the truth through the official communication channels intended for this. I am writing here. There will be a whole series of posts. I’ll start “from the end” – my wife and I were forced to go into self-isolation by order of the Acting Chief State Sanitary Doctor for the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow. By the way, smears on COVID-19 were not taken. But they were forced to use the Social Monitoring application. On pain of a fine and criminal prosecution.

I immediately, on April 24, as I received the order, downloaded it. And it promised to authorize me within 24 hours. But … The day passed, the second passed, the third – all the same 24 hours and no clarity. Well, it happens, I thought – we hardly have this infection, and the application is mainly for confirmed patients, control of their isolation. But early “rejoiced.”

Yesterday my wife received an SMS with the requirement to install the application, she logged in. It also came to life for me … And it rushed ..

First of all, we take pictures. And right after the photo, the geolocation icon starts blinking like crazy. At this time, the phone starts to warm up wildly, the battery charge flies away before our eyes. And this happens on two phones at once – on my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with Android 8 and Galaxy S10e with Android 10, with all the latest updates. At the same time, the application periodically crashes, reboots and continues to hellishly, until the brakes, load the system.

At some point in time, the application asks the wife to take a picture again and…. does not send photo – error. And so 10 times in a row. Only reboot helps. In this case, the application crashes “out of the account” and requires you to log in again. Heating and braking continues.

We call the support center – at first they refuse to serve us, since we did not sign a consent to receive medical assistance at home. And our piece of paper on self-isolation from the VRIO does not suit them. But then they still leave a request for communication with the developers – they will contact you tomorrow. Yeah. Of course.

At one o’clock in the morning, when we had already gone to bed and put the phones for charging on a metal shelf (so the phones cooled down a little), my device vibrated and asked for a photo. Sleeping self-insulated, apparently, is not allowed.

Imagine my surprise when in the morning I discovered that my phone had transferred more than 3.5 GB of my data to the mayor’s office, my wife’s phone – 1 GB. This perfectly explains the freeze, increased battery consumption, and wild overheating. The call center could not explain what was transferred in such volumes to the mayor’s servers and for what purpose. By the way, the application REQUIRES access not only to the camera, but also to the entire internal storage. The call center again left a request for a call from a specialist. By the way, no one called in the past. Roskomnadzor, where I wanted to apply for verification of the legality of such work with personal data, kept me in line for the operator’s response for 10-7-4-7-1 minutes for an hour, then the call was dropped (restriction of cellular operators for an hour of continuous conversation).

Conclusion: give advice to readers to demand from the mayor’s office a separate device with a pre-installed application, or to purchase a separate device for this on their own. Or all your personal information from the device in an unidentified volume and with an incomprehensible purpose will be on the servers of the mayor’s office.

But the most important thing is not to get sick.

Yours faithfully,
Prokhorov Alexander.

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I dialed Alexander, they discussed for almost twenty minutes what was happening and how. After writing the letter, his wife was contacted, support offered to reinstall the application. The applications themselves work crookedly and askew, then they request eight photos per day, then none after the last update.

Now let’s see what people write in the Play Store, the average app rating tends to one.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

The reviews are just hell, the application requires a photo at night, the support service calls at night (Alexander was called that way), in a word, the organization of the process is amazing. It’s just bedlam.

But in addition to the fact that the application was obliged to use those who are in quarantine with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, they are also people who are sick with ARVI, they were equated in the mayor’s office. The support service does not yet know about this – for this reason, Alexander was denied service, he did not have consent to outpatient treatment. But further more – the application is able to write out fines! People cannot submit their photos, but they get fines. What is it like?

Look through the reviews on the Play Store, there are many who write about it.

Spillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and BuyersSpillikins # 588. Falling to the Bottom - What Happens to Electronics Sales and Buyers

The whole situation, except for a dull irritation, causes absolutely nothing. And I have a rational suggestion that will fix the situation:

  • The Moscow City Hall must admit that the Social Monitoring application is not working at this stage;
  • Contact Russian companies, for example, Yandex or Mail.ru with a request to create such an application – it will take a few days at most, but the application will work, the loss of time is not important here, nothing works anyway;
  • Reset all penalties written in the application, since they appeared due to its curvature, users are not to blame for them in any way;
  • To investigate the reasons for this application, the application contractor must publicly explain all errors, including leaked user data (they also cost money, mobile traffic is not free!).

The mayor’s office will still not be able to keep a good face in a bad game, the Social Monitoring application will cause a wave of lawsuits against the mayor’s office and the creators of this application, they can be ignored, the administrative resource can be used – all this is possible. But in the end, we are now seeing how the Moscow mayor’s office buries its perception in the eyes of Muscovites, and this virtual suicide cannot be changed in any way.

In my opinion, for you and me, those who have encountered this problem, there is only one intelligible way to convey this information to everyone – to disseminate it as much as possible. At the moment, the mayor’s office is successfully pretending that the problem does not exist. Therefore, tell us about this situation as broadly as possible, give a link to the story of Alexander. Apart from maximum publicity, nothing else is needed. We cannot underestimate the strength of society in this situation, we are more than capable of changing this situation, we just need to highlight these events and what the mayor’s office is doing. Do not be lazy, talk about it, it is extremely important. And it depends on us how we will live. I’m not afraid to talk about it, and you have nothing to fear. Let’s change the situation for the good, this is our country and our city.

PS Hope you are in good health. Good mood to you, successful week – working or not, it’s up to you to judge. Our work is in full swing, there are a lot of interesting materials in the editorial plans, in addition to standard reviews and articles, which are usual on specific days of the week. It is a little sad that the world has changed and it will take a long time to return to its usual boundaries, if in principle it is possible. I do not want to grumble, but drop the illusion, forget about what happened before. Now is the time to look for your place in the new world and think about what you will be doing and what to do. This is a time of great change. Apparently, someone wished us to live in such interesting times.

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