Smartphone import has seen an improvement in Mangsir FY 2080/81. Having suffered recess for recent years, things could start to change for the mobile industry in Nepal, but what is the ground reality? Let’s dig in.
According to the latest Customs Department report, Nepali smartphone traders brought in 1 lakh 31 thousand, 655 units of smartphones in Mangsir. That amounted to the value of Rs 2 billion, 6 crore. This led to the government raking in 38 crore and 28 lakh in revenue. The thing to notice is that these figures mark a year-to-year increase from the previous Fiscal Year FY 2079/80. In Mangsir FY 2079/80, Nepal imported 74 thousand and 423 units of smartphones.
|Smartphone import Mangsir 2080/81
|Smartphone import Mangsir 2079/80
What must also be considered is that at that time, the government had banned the import and sale of phones worth $300 and above due to the liquidity crisis. This barred midrange and flagship phone transactions in the market. The phone import ban was lifted after the end of Mangsir in 2079.
To compare, Mangsir’s data also outperforms that of Kartik. In Kartik FY 2080/81, 1.29 units of smartphones worth Rs 2 arab were imported into Nepal. That means a slight increase 2,665 units of devices in imports and Rs 6 crore of the cost growth.
|Smartphone import Mangsir 2080/81
|Smartphone import Kartik, FY 2080/81
|131,655 units (Rs 2.06 arab)
|129,000 lakh units (Rs 2 arab)
|2,655 units (Rs 6 crore) ↑
The Nepali smartphone market is dominant with midrange smartphones. Samsung and Xiaomi mobile phones are highly popular. You can also see the list of the consolidated list of smartphones under Rs 30,000.
Most smartphones come from China and India
China and India continue to sell more smartphones in Nepal. As of Mangsir, FY 2080/81, 6 lakh, 57 thousand, and 188 units of smartphones came from China. The total volume was worth over Rs 9.48 billion. Similarly, 2 lakh, 43 thousand, and 295 units came from India worth Rs 3.90 billion. The rest came from Vietnam, South Korea, the UK, etc.
|Smartphone import from China
|Smartphone import from India
|657,188 units worth Rs 9.48 billion
|243,295 unis worth Rs 3.90 billion
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Smartphone market lifting up in Nepal? No, not yet …
It seems the figures don’t represent the market reality at least for now. Retailers hold that Nepal’s smartphone sales have decreased by 30% due to the economic recession. The increase in imports reflects the literal value only not the upbeat market condition and smartphone consumer mobility.
Nepal Mobile Distributors Association (NMDA) President Dinesh Chulyadyo stresses that the improved smartphone figure seen in Mangsir FY 2080/81 is due to the obligation of bringing newly launched smartphones into the market. He shared that smartphones brought before Dashain are yet to be sold off.
He added that sellers used to see monthly transactions of Rs 10 lakh from smartphone sales. This has dropped to below 7 lakh now. Targeting the festival time, mobile importers had brought in over 2.75 lakh smartphones worth Rs 4 billion in Ashoj, FY 2080/81. The inventory is still not clear.
In the meantime, NTA’s full implementation of MDMS had brought some relief to the traders. The regulatory system was supposed to curb the spread of grey phones and help the legitimate market. NTA also started disabling network access on unregistered handsets however, not much has translated into the bliss for smartphone sellers.
It seems that the smartphone market will still take some time to see any strong signs of market revival. At the same time, MDMS is in effect so if your mobile phone is still unregistered, go ahead and register it at NTA.
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