Mobile phone imports in Pakistan increased by 4.23 percent during the financial year 2015-16 as compared to the same period of previous year.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), total imports of mobile phone stood at $753.22 million in 2015-16, slightly up from $722.622 million in the same period previous year.
Overall telecom imports saw decline of 0.86 percent during July 2015 to June 2016 as compared to the same period in the previous year.
Total telecom imports were recorded at $1.365 billion in 2015-16 compared to $1.377 billion in the same period of previous year.
Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed significant decline of 6.48 percent during this period as it stood at $612.113 million during July-June (2015-16) against $654.508 million during the same period of last year.
Smartphone Penetration During Next Few Years:
According to analysts, telecom sector has come to a brim with respect to infrastructure investment and other apparatus, therefore decline in overall telecom import is justifiable.
However, mobile phone import bill is likely to grow during years to come. Early adaption of 3G/4G service — that now account to some 29 million subscriptions — is majorly consumed by users who were already smartphone users.
This trend is changing with time as more and more consumers have already started to shift to smartphones, mainly to access 3G and 4G services or even otherwise to use OTT services (such as Skype, Whatsapp) over WiFi.
Other incentives for smartphone adaption include better user experience and value added services such as video streaming, better photography and gaming.
Predictions suggest that smartphones are expected to cross 50 percent of mobile phones in Pakistan in next three years.
With three 4G players now — Zong, Telenor and Waird/Mobilink — a big jump in 4G smartphone is also expected during next 2-3 years.
Zong alone, and partly Warid, couldn’t generate such buzz and demand for 4G, however with Telenor and Mobilink jumping into race this trend is going to shift and more 4G handsets are likely to start emerging in Pakistan, indicating a rapid increase in import bill of smartphones as imminent.