Friday, April 26, 2024

Pakistanis' Insatiable Appetite For Smartphones

Samsung is seeing strong demand for its locally assembled Galaxy S24 smartphones and tablets in Pakistan, according to Bloomberg. The company said it is struggling to meet demand. Pakistan’s mobile phone industry produced 21 million handsets while its smartphone imports surged over 100% in the last fiscal year, according to media reports. The world's 5th most populous country has 192 million mobile phone users and 135 million broadband subscribers, according to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). It is the  world's 7th largest mobile phone market. 

Pakistan Telecom March 2024 Indicators. Source: PTA

Pakistani mobile phone manufacturers claim that almost all major mobile phone brands except iPhone are being assembled in Pakistan. “All mobile brands except iPhone are being manufactured in Pakistan and mobile phone import has been largely replaced with local manufacturing,” Aamir Allawala, vice chairman of the Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association (PMPMA), told Arab News

Strong demand for mobile phones is driven by rapidly increasing number of digital apps being used across various sectors ranging from agriculture to e-commerce, education, finance, health and retail. This is underpinned by digital infrastructure development with thousands of kilometers of fiber optic cables being laid across the country.

Smartphones are boosting the government's Digital Pakistan initiative. It is backed by growing intellectual capital in the IT arena. Over a million students, about a third of total 3 million students (1.4 million women, 1.6 million men) enrolled in Pakistani universities and degree colleges, are currently studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM Education), according to data released by the country's Higher Education Commission (HEC). Of these students, 415,008 are studying natural sciences and mathematics, 276,659 are in information and communication technologies (ICT), 178,260 are in health sciences and 166,457 are in engineering. Pakistan produced 157,102 STEM graduates last year, putting it among the world's top dozen or so countries. About 43,000 of these graduates are in information technology (IT).  


Majumdar said...

Good news


Vineeth said...

What mobile phone "manufacturers" in Pakistan and India typically do are merely "assembly". They import all the key components like screens, chipsets, cameras and batteries from China, Taiwan or South Korea and assemble them locally. Its just like how Pakistani "assemblers" produce cars from imported CKD kits. It may give jobs to some, but does little in terms of value addition or fostering a localized manufacturing and design ecosystem for products.

India has done better in terms of creating such a design and manufacturing ecosystem and local parts supply chain for automobiles, with many domestic brands manufacturing motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses and competing with European, Korean and Japanese brands that also have manufacturing facilities here. But Indian industry has so far failed to replicate this success in the manufacturing of electronics and heavy machinery and the country is heavily dependent on imports for these.