Pakistan is home to over 155 million Cellular Subscribers according to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Out of these 155 million, there are 63 million 3G/4G Subscribers. Smartphone sales seen a sharp growth after country introduced 3G and 4G Technology in Pakistan back in 2014.
Since then there has been an open war among Smartphone Brands for getting the most share in the market.
The Epic Fall of Qmobile
Qmobile was Pakistan’s largest Cellphone Brand. In September 2015, Qmobile was top in the list of Cellphone and Smartphone sales with over 57% market share.
Qmobile enjoyed the status of being Top Smarphone seller for almost 8 years after the fall of Nokia. A number of factors were involved in the mammoth success of Qmobile. The most important factor was pricing. They outsourced Manufacturing from china and kept pricing lower as compare to the mobiles by top manufacturers with similar features. Second most important factor was aggressive Marketing strategies. Qmobile hired top singers, Artists and actors for their advertisements.
In 2017, Qmobile was caught between a Smuggling and Tax evasion scandal. Qmobile was accused of being involved in tax evasion by importing the mobile phones under the documentation of spare parts and hence causing national exchequer a loss of million of rupees. Since then Qmobile lost its market share in Smartphone Sales drastically
After the fall of Qmobile, Samsung being No. 2 in total Smartphone Sales in Pakistan clinched the No. 1 spot for a variety of reasons. Samsung is a popular and credible international brand. Samsung have introduced Smartphones for every budget bracket i.e. 10k-20k, 20k-40k, 50k+ and high end Smartphones 75k.
The Huawei Factor
The gap left by Qmobile in Smartphone sales in Pakistan was quickly filled by Samsung and most quickly by Huawei. From nowhere in 5 years ago, Huawei now stands at No.2 in Total Market share of Smartphone Sales in Pakistan. Huawei achieved this milestone because of several reason. Huawei is also a Chinese company and presents smartphones with little bit same prices as that of Qmobile. But Huawei is World’s second largest Smartphone manufacturer. That add credibility to Huawei Brand and hence its popularity is increasing among Pakistani Smartphone Users.
New Players in Smartphone Sale in Pakistan
Oppo, GFive, Lenovo, Motorolla and Nokia are other favorite brands for Pakistani users. In any mobile market whether in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi or Peshawar you will find banners and large advertisement boards by Oppo. Nokia is also entering the market again seeking the success it had 10 years ago. Other brands struggle hard to be in Top 5 Most selling Smartphone in Pakistan
According to data revealed by Statscounter, Samsung tops the market share with 41.12% in January 2019. Samsung is followed by Huawei, Oppo, Qmobile and Nokia whose market share in Pakistan are 13.89%, 7.53%, 6.01% and 4.86% respectively.
The data tells an interesting story about Apple’s iPhone. Apple has 10 times less Smartphone sales in Pakistan as compared to Samsung.
The huge difference in Market share of Samsung and Apple in Pakistani market is because of the business strategy of both companies. Samsung is world’s largest chip maker and Android phone manufacturer. They have a smartphone for every price tier. You can get a Samsung Smartphone depending on your budget. However Apple IPhone is a different Story. Apple Iphones are most expensive smartphones in the world. Apple only introduces 3-5 handsets every year and that with a price tag highest in the market.
Since Pakistan is a developing country with per capita income of $1541 or roughly 215,000 PKR, not too many people are able to buy a Smartphone that cost over 100,000. On the other hand, they can easily get a brand new Samsung or any other smartphone in the price range of 20,000-40,000. This is where Apple fails to get bigger chunk in Pakistani market.
Samsung will remain Top Brand
People in Pakistan are price sensitive. With the rising prices of Samsung Galaxy, Samsung A series and Samsung Note Series smartphones it is expected that Samsung might lose some Market Share in Pakistan. Because not only Oppo and Huwaei produce good alternates for Pakistani users, Xiaomi’s solid entry in Pakistan will also change the Smartphone sales graphs.
Despite this, Samsung will remain as top Brand in Pakistan for at least several years. It all depends on how Huawei and new entrants like Xiaomi performs and market their products. If they follow the same marketing strategy that Qmobile adopted about a decade ago, Huawei and Xiaomi can come closer to Samsung for most number of Smartphone Sales in Pakistan.