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Changing Trends in Pakistan Smartphone Mobile Industry 2021

The Pakistani mobile market keeps on changing primarily on the basis of consumer perception about the brand, what do the brand has to offer in terms of value and price point. The secondary factor that will also affect the decision-making process for mobile users is weather mobile user prefer operating system based on Android “Google” or IOS “Apple”.

As the Pakistani mobile industry is going through an expansion phase, it has a potential to grow as the number of smartphone users are increasing every day. The 4G data network coverage is still expanding within the boundaries and far away locations where ever population is living inside Pakistan. On the basis of data shared by the PTA website the total number of mobile subscribers have crossed over 184 million inside Pakistan.

Now let’s make a comparison based on data gathered for Android vs Apple IOS. Among the total smartphone users almost 97 percent of people using Android operating system and only 3 percent of the total market size uses Apple IOS.

For apple IOS the number of users is lot less in Pakistan as compared to international market share of apple IOS, the main reason for this difference is although apple makes a better product to its competition but the apple mobiles are quite expensive and in third world economies the buying power of mobile users is lot less than in the developed economies where buying power of the consumers is significantly higher.

As new brands from China compete aggressively to take the market share of Android based mobile sold every year in the mobile market. The competition is getting more and more aggressive every day as new entrants are trying to sell their mobile by offering better features than the competition based on consumer preferences and choices.

The mobile companies are focusing on targeting different segments on price point and value. Every brand is trying to compete and wants to take market share from each other in mid-price range, budget price range and premium price range. This is the reason we see all the brands are bringing more and more models every quarter with an increasing pace that was not seen before in this industry.

Mobiles companies target consumers on the bases of preferences, a process that starts once different consumer segments are identified based on their needs, intended use of the mobile, core factor that will be the reason to influence the buyer’s decision, gender, age, lifestyle, socio economic class etc. Once the segment is identified based on preferences then the question comes at what price point this segment will be willing to spend and why the particular brand will be preferred over the other.

This is where every other mobile company tries to highlight that feature in its communication that will make the job easy for them. Some try to give this impression that it’s the screen size and resolution, some say it’s the processor some just consider being sleek looks and trendy style will matter most. Brands try their level best to advertise and spend hefty amount of their total marketing budget on TVC in-store on-store displays, consumer activations by making attractive product displays considering the communication will be as important as product itself in targeting the intended market to create a pull for the product. The mobile user before making final decision based on the research that every buyer does before shortlisting the final product is very critical indeed. The mobile brands do try to bring the best offerings, features and processing power, storage, RAM in their mobile but it is not the only reason for a buyer to make rational decisions in this industry. The mobile is not only kept for merely communication purpose it is also considered a status symbol in our society therefore our choice of brand may reflect our socio-economic class and our status that will be an important factor too for some buyers who prefer prestige value over the features and specification.

The consumer is also aware of the fact that the Chinese competitors are taking away market share because of their price to value offering that is getting better than the Korean brands have to offer but the fact remains the stronger your product is in long run it will take its share back from others as they are not value for money. This is why R&D is very important and it’s a must for every brand that wants to keep its share intact and wants to grow its market share by making a better product.

The total units sold in year 2020 is approximately 11.4m where Samsung is currently the market leader with sales revenue over 70b PKR and it sold 1.4m units 12.3% of the total units sold in year 2020 whereas Chinese brands like Vivo, Oppo, Infinix sold greater number of units in a year than Samsung but in terms of revenue and brand value Samsung is market leader at the moment in year 2020-21.The Chinese competition like Vivo sales revenue 51b PKR with 2.1m units sold its 18.6% of the total units sold in year 2020 ,Oppo sales revenue 46b PKR 1.8m units sold its 16.2% of the total units sold in year 2020, Infinix sales revenue 37b PKR 2m units sold its 17.5% of the total units sold in year 2020, Tecno sales revenue 22b PKR with 1.2m units sold its 11.5% of total units sold in year 2020,Apple sales revenue 25b PKR units sold 0.25m its 2.1% of the total units sold in year 2020, Realme sales revenue 20b PKR units sold 0.78m its 6.8% of the total units sold in year 2020,Huawei sales revenue 15b PKR with 0.64m units sold its 5.6% of the total units sold in year 2020, Redmi sales revenue 10b PKR with 0.40m units sold its 3.6% of total units sold in year 2020. The remaining Chinese brands are Pocophone, MI, Itel, Nokia and our local brand Q-Mobile, they have sold approximately 0.70m units in 2020.

This competition will bring better product at best possible pricing for the mobile users in future for Pakistan mobile market as every company will compete and will offer better features as the competition will be increasing among the brands.

Koreans are coming up with better products for all price segments and slowly the market that was taken by chinese due to better value to price for budget segment Samsung is taking its share back that was previously taken away during year 2018-2020 they are coming back in this segment by bringing in better product with a price point that matches the budget segment of Chinese brands and Huawei is also not in the competition as we all know due to Huawei US ban  imposed in year starting Q1 2019.Samsung did not lose this opportunity and came back into this segment where Huawei was leading and was about to take over Samsung globally just before the ban was imposed on Huawei.

Samsung targets mostly premium segment at premium price point starting 100,000-200,000 PKR with its flagship Galaxy S series, Note series and Fold series devices but it is quite expensive as compared to other Chinese competition but as Samsung is considered a premium brand and its prestige value is considerably high among the consumers, they are able to take advantage of this segment and are market leaders of this segment in Pakistan. The medium price segment is 40,000-60,000 PKR its where Chinese brands are winning and also in the economy/budget segment 20,000-40,000 PKR chinese brands are selling more units than Korean’s counterparts.

Many of the brands have already started manufacturing mobiles inside Pakistan to cut down the price and in return offer more value than the competition. It is a good move by Chinese brands like Vivo, Oppo, Airlink, Tecno and GFive as the mobile consumer market competition is increasing.

Samsung on the other hand will use its best R&D and will offer better products to take their share in all price segments. Huawei will be returning soon to the market once the ban is totally lifted. Google Play, Android services and 5G chip is available to them and they are back where they had left and it will not be too long as snapdragon US based company is back in business with them and you will see Huawei back on the table and a possibility to take away the seat from Samsung.

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Category: Technology

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