Smartphone handset market share booming rate in Bangladesh
A craze for the smartphone among all sections of people created a mobile-market bonanza in Bangladesh, raising latest annual handset import by 22.8 per cent.
Industry statistics show roughly 29.3 million mobile phones were imported in the country during the past year, the total sales value of which is around Tk 85 billion.
The statistics available with Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association indicate an increase by around Tk 15.8 billion in terms of sales value from 2015, when more than 27.6 million cellphones were imported into the country for around Tk 69.26 billion.
The bygone year also witnessed a continuing surge in the popularity of smartphones as this particular segment saw a 40 per cent increase in its sales on the domestic market.
According to industry-insiders, different brands of smartphones together constituted around 27 per cent of the total sales of mobile phones in the country in 2016.
"The users are making leaps from the traditional feature phones to smartphones as the upgrade in communications media and the availability of faster internet spark the trend," said Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile segment of Samsung Bangladesh.
"People these days are no more satisfied with a simple handset. They look for specific features like the capacity of RAM, camera resolution and battery capacity etc," said Rezwanul Haque, General Secretary of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
"When it comes to price range, however, feature phones that are below Tk 1500.00 and smartphones that are below Tk 8000.00 are more popular," he added.
Such preference for cheaper handsets among the local buyers also means that inexpensive Chinese brands are ruling the local cellphone market.
Symphony has continued its lead on the local market with around 38 per cent market share while its nearest competitors were Winmax and South Korean Samsung with around 7.0 per cent market share each, the BMPIA figures show.
Local brand Walton which assembles its handsets in China claimed 5.0 per cent share in the market while other Chinese and Indian brands like Kingstar, Itel, Micromax and Winstar came next with around 3 to 4 per cent share.
Representatives of major mobile-phone brands, however, said that they were facing difficulties in controlling the cheap and hazardous grey and parallel imports making inroads illegally into the country.
According to industry estimates, the government is also losing around Tk 5 billion in taxes every year due to the illegal importing of handsets.
"Apart from jeopardising the reputation of major mobile manufacturers in terms of quality and safety, these cheap and unfavorable devices are making the lives' of the customers hectic as they are made for customers of different regions," said an official of a top global cellphone brand.
In recent times, the telecom regulator has conducted several crackdowns on illegally imported handsets across the capital. Such moves, however, proved inadequate to control flow of illegal handsets into the country, the industry-insiders say.
According to latest figure of Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission, Bangladesh currently has more than 120 million mobile-phone subscribers in the country.
As per a recent report by GSMA, mobile industry together contributed around US$13 billion or almost 6.2 per cent in Bangladesh's GDP back in 2015 and the figure is expected to rise to US$ 17 billion by 2020.
Source: The financial Express-Published on 21 Jan 2017