Pakistan to become smartphone savvy nation

By Isha Lodhi on
May 8, 2017
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Facilitated by the growth of the mobile broadband industry, the popularity of smartphones in Pakistan has grown enormously during the last two years. If market estimates in 2015 have been correct, the country has more than 40 million smartphones today.

Smartphone shipments to Pakistan saw one of the fastest growth rates for smartphone imports in the Asian and African region, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Report in 2015. In the same year, smartphones contributed to half of Pakistan’s mobile imports.

As smartphones flood into the country, more and more Pakistanis switch from feature phones to smartphones. Those who have not yet taken them up haven’t done so majorly due to safety concerns, and not for the lack of inclination towards the new trending gadgets. The share of smartphone continuously rises even more in a market equipped with 3G and 4G, that have 35 million mobile data subscribers.

While Apple’s iPhone and the more feature-rich models of Samsung have been favorites among technology enthusiasts and high-income group consumers, low-end models Huawei, Samsung and QMobile are popular because of the reasonable price range they offer.

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QMobile dominates both smartphone and feature phone markets and holds over 50 % of the smartphone market segment. Last year, Samsung had 20.5% of the smartphone market share while Huawei increased its share from 7.3 % to 8.9%.

The prevalence of smartphones among people-powered the growth of businesses like Careem, which, without owning a single vehicle, has become a successful business worth 1 billion US dollars. Smartphones are the market square for businesses today. As they offer technology connectivity, entrepreneurs expect them to be a selling medium for products and ideas.

The flourish in smartphones in these recent years has seen to it that Pakistani mobile users do not see the mobile phone as a mere communication device anymore. Besides connecting people, phones are now connecting technologies. The arrival of smartphones has meant that your phone is now a camera, as well as a photo editor, a document scanner, weather forecaster, a tiny portable workstation and much more.

Additionally, thanks to new online business and medical technology solutions, this pocketable device promotes health and security, and make traveling, eating, paying bills more enjoyable and simpler experiences. Smartphones have given urban life in the fast lane a boost and profited start-ups and business ventures. It is no wonder that, along with our dependence on these devices, expectations we have from them are rising. Users expect them to provide convenience and solutions in every domain, from health, recreation, and logistics to simplifying daily cumbersome tasks.

IDC expects smartphones to overshadow feature phones by end of 2017, even though smartphones currently make up 31% of the mobile market. It seems a huge chunk of our population is steadily adopting to smarter phones. Pakistan is also estimated to have 17 million new mobile subscribers by 2020, TechJuice reports from the GSMA’s 2017 Mobile Economy Report. These trends are indications of increasing technology awareness in our nation. As mobile and smartphone users increase in different income groups, we can expect changes in the lifestyle of entire communities. More and more people will have access to the convenience and technology solutions offered by and through smartphones. The increased number of users bring business opportunities for entrepreneurs that want to use this medium to access a wide base of customers.

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