Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $1.09 billion during the first half (July-December) of 2021, compared to $938.819 million during the same period last year, registering a growth of 16.17 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The overall telecom imports into the country from July to December 2021 increased by 23.18 percent to $1.423 billion from $1.155 billion in the same period last year.
On a month-on-month basis, imports of mobile phones increased by 10.30 percent during December 2021 and remained $233.89 million, compared to $212.058 million in November 2021, the PBS data revealed. On a year-on-year basis, mobile phone imports witnessed an increase of 8.92 percent, compared to $214.736 million in December 2020.
On a month-on-month basis, the overall telecom imports increased by 3.41 percent during December 2021 and remained $293.212 million, compared to the imports of $283.537 million in November 2021. On a year-on basis, the telecom imports witnessed 13.27 percent growth, compared to $258.865 million in December 2020.
Other apparatus imports during July-December 2021 increased by 53.58 percent and remained $332.70 million, compared to $216.638 million in July-December 2020. Other apparatus imports registered 17.01 percent negative growth on a month-on-month basis and remained $59.32 million in December 2021, compared to $71.479 million in November 2021, and registered 34.43 percent growth, compared to $44.129 million in December 2020.
The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants has witnessed a significant increase of 3.25 million in November 2021 and the total production reached 22.12 million in the first 11 months of the current calendar year.
The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants more than doubled against the import of commercial mobile phones in the country during January-November 2021 as the local production was recorded at 22.12 million, compared to the imported mobile phones of 9.95 million.
However, despite the increase in the local production of mobile phones, Pakistan’s mobile phones imports are increasing.
According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data, the local manufacturing trend reflects a positive uptake on the PTA’s Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Authorization regulatory regime, whereby, local manufacturing within the first year of the regime introduction has resulted in the production of 22.12 million phones in a short span of 11 months, including 9.03 million 4G smartphones.
As per the PTA data, 52 percent of mobile devices are smartphones and 48 percent are 2G.