For the first time in years, the import of mobile phones has taken a slump. In the last few years since COVID-19 lockdowns, the number of phones shipped to Nepal has steadily risen. But the recent data suggests otherwise, the latest custom depart has shown.
As per the report, mobile phones import has taken a rare and steep slump in Falgun. The record shows 2 lakh, 54 thousand, and 185 mobile phones worth over 2.60 billion rupees entering Nepal. This helped the Nepal government collect almost 4.9 billion in revenues.
However, this total is remarkably low against the previous month’s data, more specifically nearly by a half.
In Magh, 4 lakh, 49 thousand, and 370 units of phones were imported into Nepal. This total accounted for 2.75 billion rupees.
But there is a detail we shouldn’t miss
Although the quantity of phones has shown a wide gulf between the two months, the amount spent on phones is almost equal. In Magh, Nepali traders spent a total of 2.75 billion Nepali rupees in importing mobile phones. This is merely less than over 15 crores in total sum.
This convoluting data begs a question, how? An obvious conjecture is the demands for upper mid-range and premium tier phones are increasing. The 5G phones are on the rise and they only come with more expensive mid-rangers. While the recently released mobile phones may have also counted big for the high amount spent on phones despite a low number of units entering the country.
But this is still a conjecture and we are not claiming anything yet.
As per the customs depart, Nepal has imported 42 lakh, 59 thousand, and 989 units of mobile phones costing almost 31 billion till Falgun, FY 078/79.
Meanwhile, China as ever accounted for most mobile phones entering the country. In Falgun, a total of 32 lakh, 69 thousand, and 452 mobile phones came from China. The total amount for them stood at 18.23 billion rupees.
India continues to be another top contributor to Nepal’s mobile import. In Falgun, 8 lakh, 7 thousand, and 884 handsets entered from India that were worth 11.34 billion rupees.
Mobile phone imports in Falgun 078/79
Total cost (NPR)
Market Becoming Stable?
Mobile phones became the instant mode of communication along with the internet when COVID-19 restrictions entered life. Smart gadgets became the driver of our daily life. It fulfilled the need for virtual classes, work-from-home, office meetings, entertainment, social media consumption, etc. It kept life going on despite stringent restrictions.
And it’s likely that most people who waited on buying a phone or felt the need bought them one during the lockdown. The same people are not going to need more phones for a few more years. Statistically, we can attribute this reasoning to the mobile phones slump in Falgun. But we will have to wait on further reports in the coming months to see whether the phone market has really become stable or it was a one-off month quantitatively.
Mobile phone imports took a steep slump in Falgun, but it remains to be seen how it will show in the next month. Why do you think mobile imports fell to a record low last month? Do leave your reasoning in the comments below.