Smart­phone flour­ish­ing in Pak­istan with rea­son­able growth

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Pak­istan will have more than 40 mil­lion smart­phones by end of this year 2016 as in­crease in num­ber of mo­bile broad­band users have reg­is­tered a rea­son­able growth. Based on cur­rent trends in e-com­merce sec­tor and as per mar­ket es­ti­mates, more than two mil­lion users a month are look­ing to buy a phone on­line and to cap­i­talise on this grow­ing de­mand, ma­jor in­dus­try play­ers from ser­vice providers (tele­com op­er­a­tors) to mo­bile phone mak­ers and an e-com­merce plat­form have part­nered with in­ter­net gi­ant Google to pro­mote on­line trade by of­fer­ing exclusive dis­counts on mo­bile phone pur­chases just ahead of Eidul Fitr.

In Pak­istan, third-gen­er­a­tion (3G) and 4G mo­bile phone users stand at 27 mil­lion as of May 2016 and con­tinue to grow, cre­at­ing a huge de­mand for smart­phones, which is the top sell­ing cat­e­gory across all ma­jor e-com­merce plat­forms. Pub­licly avail­able data shows mo­bile phone im­ports in terms of value and not in units, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to fig­ure out cat­e­gory-wise im­ports. How­ever, mar­ket sources say less than 20 per cent of Pak­istan’s monthly mo­bile phone im­ports com­prises smart­phones.

It mer­its men­tioned that Pak­istan’s e-com­merce mar­ket is still in its in­fancy and rep­re­sents only 5 per cent of con­ven­tional re­tail trade. How­ever, the over­all size of this fast grow­ing seg­ment has come close to $100 mil­lion, up by two-thirds from $60 mil­lion as of 2014. A bulk of the coun­try’s e-com­merce trans­ac­tions orig­i­nate from Karachi, La­hore, Is­lam­abad and Rawalpindi, which com­prise about 50% of cus­tomers.—APP

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