The smartphone market surges 4.1pc on optimism, Samsung retains top spot

According to a report published by International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 4Q19, Bangladesh’s mobile phone market returned to growth in 2019 with a 4.1 per cent annual growth, shipping 29.6 million units during the year.

Samsung Bangladesh retained the top spot in the Bangladesh smartphone market with a total of 16.1% market share in the segment with a sales volume of more than 1.12 million handsets in 2019. Symphony, Transsion, Walton, and Xiaomi settled in the position of second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Also, in terms of market value, for the last three consecutive years, Samsung has also been the market leader in Bangladesh smartphone market, which gives a real insight into its competitiveness towards innovative products.

The overall market is still dominated by feature phones with a 76.6 per cent share and 22.7 million-unit shipments with a 4.9 per cent annual growth. In the smartphone category, a total of 6.9 million smartphones were shipped in 2019, with a 1.4% year-over-year (YoY) growth. The last quarter of the year (4Q19) saw healthy growth in the overall mobile phone shipments as the category grew 19.5% YoY and 16.2% from the previous quarter, contributing 8.8 million shipments to the year.

Last year, the government raised the customs duty on smartphones to 25 per cent from the existing 10 per cent, resulting in a 4.1% decline YoY in 2H19. Whereas the customs duty of feature phones remained the same at 10 per cent, and consequently, it saw a strong recovery with 20.1% YoY growth in 2H19.

As the local governments continue to discourage the CBU (Completely Built Units) import across countries, it is putting immense pressure on global vendors to diversify their production plants in key geographies to meet the local demand. Hence, the country saw a shift in local manufacturing as three out of four smartphones shipped in 4Q19 were locally assembled from just one-fourth smartphones assembled in 1Q19.

As per the latest data of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), in 2019, the number of locally assembled smartphones increased to 20 lakh from 7 lakh in the previous year. In 2018, the government allowed nine companies to assemble mobile phone handsets locally.

The companies are Fair Electronics, Walton Digi-Tech Industries, EDISON Industries, Carlcare Technology BD, Alamin and Brothers, Anira International, OK Mobile, Transsion Bangladesh, and Best Tycoon (BD) Enterprise.

According to the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Manufacturing Association (BMPMA), global brand Samsung’s plant assembles 96 per cent of the products it sells locally.

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