Handset importers of the country are eyeing a 25% growth in total sales of handsets of all kinds in 2017. The president of Bangladesh Mobile Phone importers Association (BMPIA) Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub said to a newspaper recently.
In 2016, Bangladesh imported a total of 31.20 million handsets worth of BDT 80 billion approximately. The BMPIA incumbent said that they would be able to reach the target of importing handset worth of BDT 100 billion before the end of this year.
A BMPIA publication cited that smartphone import is seeing higher growth (33% in 2016) than feature phone import (5% in 2016). The growth in smartphone import is mainly driven by increasing penetration of mobile internet in the country, the report noted. The study also said that consumers are buying high-end smartphones more than the low-end smartphones, indicating a major shift in the perceived consumer behavior in handset market.
At present, there are 120 million mobile phone subscribers in the country and among them 63 million subscribe to mobile data plan of different sorts. The report pointed to the fact that although 10% of overall mobile phone subscribers got cut in 2016 due to biometric registration, mobile internet saw a 24% rise in subscriber number.
At present, 5 inch display is the most sought after screen in smartphone segment, followed by other larger screen phones. Besides, smartphone prices are decreasing continuously, while feature phone is not seeing such price cut due to higher cost of phone parts.
However, the leader of the association said, the handset market is a bit unstable due to poor regulatory monitoring. They blamed business-unfriendly regulations from BTRC, tax structure of NBR and corruption in ports for the flooding of illegally imported handsets in the market. The businessmen in this sector said that better and timely regulation may benefit all the stakeholders.