Samsung Faces Tough Competition in Mobile Phone Market of Pakistan

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Since the low cost Chinese mobile phones have stormed the mobile markets and grabbed a huge share of the market, leading mobile phone makers like Samsung, Nokia and Sony are struggling hard to hold tight to what they have of the market share.

Last few years have seen a rapid increase in mobile phone usage in Pakistan making telecom companies and mobile phone makers coming out in the wild to get the most from their subscribers. Every now and then, there is a “Free SMS and Call Bundle” offer from telecom companies to lure customers into their subscribership, increasing the sale of mobile phones day by day. And to make matters worse, not a single telecom company seriously makes sure that they document everything.

As of today, Pakistan has one of the largest numbers of mobile phone users, one of the largest numbers of SIM subscribers compared to the population in the country. Because of this, Pakistan has the lowest call and SMS rates in the world. Having 3 to 4SIMs of different telecom companies has become an order of the day. With telecom companies giving ever fancier offers to the user and fighting neck to neck with each other to get the most subscriber base, the user has found a way to get himself out of this war; to get multiple SIMs up and running and using the one which gives the lowest rates. To cope with the demand, Chinese mobile phones supporting 2 to 4 network connections are selling like hot cakes. It is nothing unusual that leading mobile phone makers like Nokia and Samsung had to come up with double and triple SIM models to ensure that they don’t go out of the competition. But still, these low cost Chinese brands are in no mood to leave the market to them.

To make matters worse for them, some other companies like QMobile, Voice Mobiles and Megagate have come up with mobile phones and even smartphones that have all the latest features and top of the line specification at a fraction of a cost. One element that companies as these were not delivering in the past was product warranty making the buyer unsure about the quality of the product. But, this also was taken care of when these companies opened their customer service and liaison offices in the major cities of Pakistan and started giving off product warranties, seemingly leaving no space to breath for mobile phone making veterans.

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With international Chinese brands like Huawei also jumping in the smartphone market, the technology world is getting murkier. Though Samsung revitalized the mobile phone world with its wide range of top of the line, manufacturers like QMobile, Megagate and Huawei have come up with models that give you all the latest features at a fraction of the cost (at a bit lower quality as well). What do you expect would sell if QMobile gives off a smartphone with 1GHz processor, Android 2.3 OS on 3.5-inch touch screen, double SIM smartphone at about Rs.9000 (US$ 85) and Samsung delivers the same thing in over Rs.15000 (around US$140)?  Some people go for a Samsung SII or Sony Xperia Arc Replica for 5000 to 6000 rupees; style and low cost in one package!

However, there are certain elements that are causing setbacks to these Chinese brands compared to names like Nokia and Samsung. Of course, when you are talking about lowering cost, you have to compromise on quality. Chinese brands do the same while Samsung, Nokia and LG don’t, making them keep the prices of their products high. Then, the most elemental aspect, which won’t let leading brands, go out of business is brand recognition. They spell quality and style, where other Chinese brands dictate lower cost. In a country where most people are more status conscious than the cost, business is never down for brands with a hefty price tag. Still, Pakistani market is so messed up with replicas and copies that even if you have a genuine Samsung Note in your hand, you friend is still going to ask you, “China?” not thinking a bit about quality.

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