local assembling of smartphones
Assembling unit of Samsung

Local assembling of smartphones:

Samsung & Oppo Smartphone companies decided to start local assembling of smartphones within Pakistan by placing their local assembling of smartphones units in Pakistan soon after the removal of general sales tax (GST), on locally assembled mobile phones of the category of above 200 USD, by the Government of Pakistan.

As reported by Business Recorder, Samsung & Oppo thinking of investing in the local assembling of smartphones in Pakistan market and are probably waiting for the the implementation of the recommendation of the policy to remove sales tax on locally assembled cell phones of the category of above 200 USD.

Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy 2020 was approved by the ECC in May 2020. The decision was subsequently ratified by the Cabinet on June 2, 2020.

The mobile device manufacturing policy provides sufficient advantage to the local assembling of smartphones especially below $ 200 category in comparison with imports in completely built condition. M/s VIVO, M/s Airlink Communications, M/s Inovi Telecom are amongst the new investors in local assembling of smartphones that have already started their trial production in February 2021.

local assembling of smartphones
Assembling of Smartphones

The combined capacity of all these three companies makes a total of more than one million. M/s Transsion Tecno, a Karachi based company assembling three famous brands including Itel, Infinix and Tecno , has increased local assembly from 150,000 units to 650,000 units per month owing to increase in demand soon after the policy was launched.

In addition to new entered companies in mobile assembly market, few experienced companies like G-Five and Q Mobile was already operating in the market. By introduction of new players and capacity enhancement by existing companies, Pakistan will soon be able to meet major portion of local demand, which was around 3.6 million per month in CY 2020.

The local manufacturing companies are moving rapidly from 2-G non android market to the 4-G smart phones to ensured availability of mobile handsets at competitive prices to customers.

local assembling of smartphones

The policy has provisioned a 3 % export rebate for the local companies to enter into export market. From the initial success of the policy and increased demand in local and international market, the local assemblers are optimistic about export of locally assembled mobile phones.

The mobile phone manufacturing industry is expected to become larger than the automotive industry of Pakistan in terms of turnover in a few years and employment is expected to grow manifold. To further boost the electronics sector, work has already started on preparing appropriate framework for local assembling of smartphones(tablets), allied equipment and mobile accessories in near future in line with its vision to improve the entire eco system, and make this the fastest growing sector in terms of employment and exports in the near future.

Seventeen various local assembling of smartphones plants have produced 17.62 million mobile handsets including 4G-enabled smartphones locally in Pakistan in the past two years to cater to the increasing local demand of the country.

According to the annual report of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), these plants produced over 11 million mobile devices, including 4G smartphones in 2019, only. In the first nine months of 2020, the plants assembled around 6.62 million devices, out of which 0.68 million were 4G-enables devices.

The telecom regulatory under the ministry concerned has issued licenses to 29 local assembly plants across the country, of which 17 plants are operational at present.

Some of the companies that are included in the local assembling of smartphones are Haier, Q mobile, Tecno, Mobo Mobiles, G5, and Jio Phone.

The increasing number of local assembling of smartphones plants created healthy competition among the market players. Furthermore, this reduced the burden of imports bill from the overall imports of the country and created employment opportunities for hundreds of skilled workers.

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