Pakistan Reports 10.85 Million Mobile Phones Made Locally

Pakistan Reports 10.85 Million Mobile Phones Made Locally – Mobile phone manufacturing sector in Pakistan has reported a significant milestone, with locally produced mobile phones reaching 10.85 million units during the first four months of 2024.

This figure includes 4.38 million 2G handsets and 6.47 million smartphones, highlighting the country’s growing capability in meeting domestic demand for mobile devices through local production.

According to official data from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), 61 percent of the mobile devices on the Pakistani network are smartphones, while the remaining 39 percent are 2G handsets. This distribution underscores the increasing shift towards smartphone usage, reflecting broader global trends towards more advanced mobile technology.

However, the local manufacturing and assembly of mobile phones faced a decline of around four percent in 2023. This drop is largely attributed to challenges in importing necessary components due to restrictions on opening letters of credit (LCs) for mobile phone accessories. Despite these hurdles, commercial imports of mobile handsets saw an uptick during the same period, indicating a strong market demand that local production alone could not satisfy.

In 2023, Pakistan’s local manufacturing plants produced 21.28 million mobile phones, a slight decrease from the 21.94 million units produced in 2022, and a more significant drop from the 24.66 million units in 2021. Of the 21.28 million units produced in 2023, 13 million were 2G handsets and 8.28 million were smartphones. Meanwhile, commercial imports of mobile phones increased from 1.53 million units in 2022 to 1.58 million units in 2023, showcasing the market’s resilience and adaptability in the face of import restrictions.

Financially, Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $1.462 billion during the first ten months (July-April) of the fiscal year 2023-24, a staggering growth of 209.07 percent compared to $473.287 million during the same period of the previous fiscal year. In terms of local currency, these imports amounted to Rs414.276 billion, marking a 279.52 percent increase from Rs109.158 billion in the same timeframe the previous year.

The month-on-month data also reflects this upward trend, with mobile phone imports increasing by 5.44 percent in April 2024, reaching $161.393 million compared to $153.045 million in March 2024, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). On a year-on-year basis, the growth is even more pronounced, with April 2024 seeing a 1,424.42 percent increase in imports compared to April 2023, which recorded just $10.587 million in imports.

The broader telecom sector in Pakistan also experienced significant growth. Overall telecom imports stood at $1.834 billion during July-April 2023-24, registering an impressive 135.44 percent growth compared to $77.359 million during the same period of the previous fiscal year.

This surge in both local production and imports of mobile phones highlights the dynamic nature of Pakistan’s telecom sector. While local manufacturing faces challenges, the continued demand for mobile devices drives both domestic production and import growth. The government’s role in facilitating imports, even amid restrictions, and the ongoing efforts to boost local manufacturing capabilities will be crucial in shaping the future landscape of the mobile phone industry in Pakistan.