In recent years people prefer smartphones for their ability to make them dumb. Kidding!! Not really, we mean to say smartphones help to make our life easier for the ability to perform several kinds of stuff. Now, smartphones have also taken over many other gadgets like cameras, GPS, PDA, and even Computers. People even use smartphones as makeup mirrors, Credit or debit cards, and many more.
As a matter of fact, smartphones are now the ultimate companion of human beings. But better not to be addicted. You can check your addiction level here. This post is not about what smartphones do, their preference reason, and the addiction. But it is about the percentage of people having smartphones in Nepal, a.k.a Smartphone penetration.
Most of the developed countries have smartphone penetration in the range of 70 to 90 percentage. But the average smartphone penetration of the world is around 50 percent now. It is due to the developing countries and LDCs. Although these countries have lower values of smartphone percentage, the numbers have rapidly grown in the last few years.
The measure for the smartphone users in Nepal was also way below if you see the data before some years. It was 15 percent in the year 2013 according to Kantipur post. Now with the availability of many affordable smartphones and soaring applications, the smartphone percentage in Nepal has grown rapidly.
According to the Ncell report in 2018, the smartphone penetration in their network was 52 percent then. As we can consider the same kind of penetration in state-owned company Nepal Telecom. So, we can say the smartphone penetration in the country had crossed the 50 percent mark back in 2018.
Now from the start of 2020, we find that smartphone penetration has crossed the 60% mark in Nepal. The value is more or less the same in both the telcos Nepal Telecom and Ncell. Nepal Telecom’s MD in one webinar mentioned the value to be above 60%. Similarly, Ncell’s latest financial report of 2020 also shows their smartphone penetration reached 65%. Ntc does not publish similar data as of now.
Smartphone penetration in Ncell
Smartphone Penetration Source: Ncell Data
That means more than 60% of Nepalese use smartphones today. It also lies in the same range as World’s average smartphone penetration.
Previously, smartphone penetration in Nepal used to grows by 10 percent each year. As the smartphone market seems saturated, tentatively it increased by 5% only in a year.
There are several reasons for this penetration to go up. First people (either working or studying) who come from abroad bring smartphones with them. Secondly, it is due to the availability of cheaper Chinese brand mobile phones in Nepal like Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Realme, and many more. It is also due to people’s preference for different telco services and better use of social media applications in the smartphone.
What will be the impact?
As we find the smartphone penetration growing significantly over the years, there are many advantages in the telecommunication market. At first, it will help the operator to migrate their customers to new technology like 4G, 5G. The newer technologies being more efficient will help the operator to be effective in handling their network.
More smartphone users, more will be cellular internet users for telcos with an increase in the data usage volume. This will have a good impact on the revenues of telecom operators. So, smartphone penetration helps to tackle the challenges of telecom operators.
Similarly, the higher smartphone use means a better market for new applications, digital advertisement, mobile money. It has also a significant contribution to encouraging innovative startups. The digital life enhanced by smartphones is also taken as the upheaval of overall living quality in the country.