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Bangladesh mobile phone market grows 1.7% in Q1 2024

According to the International Data Corporation ’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Bangladesh’s overall mobile phone market shipped 4 million units in 1Q24, with a meager 1.7% growth YoY (year-over-year), after a strong YoY growth in 4Q23. Bangladesh’s smartphone market shipped 1.8 million units in 1Q24, with an 11.6% growth after six quarters of YoY decline. The smartphone shipment had started to slowly recover since 3Q23 after 1H23 was impacted by heavy taxation levied on mobile phones and components due to the IMF bailout, resulting in a 39.4% decline in shipments YoY.

Feature phones, which account for 53.9% of shipments, declined by 5.4%. The demand for feature phones is impacted as consumers prioritize other essential spends as higher taxes squeeze their disposable incomes.

“With the start of Ramadan in end-Mar’24 and the festive season of Eid in the second quarter, led by various attractive financing schemes, festive offers, and price discounts, smartphone shipments for 2Q24 are expected to witness strong double-digit growth YoY before a seasonal slowdown in 2H24, leading to a low single-digit growth in 2024,” says Anjney Bhardwaj, Senior Market Analyst, Mobile Phones, IDC India.

Smartphone ASPs (average selling price) grew by 3.9%, reaching US$128 in 1Q24, after declining for six consecutive quarters.

  • The entry-level (sub-US$100) segment declined by 6% YoY to 33% share, down from 39% a year ago. Transsion continued to lead this segment with its brands itel and Tecno followed by Symphony.
  • Shipments to the mass budget (US$100<US$200) segment grew by 18% YoY, reaching a 59% share from 56% a year ago. The top 3 companies were Xiaomi, Transsion and realme, making up 58% share in this segment. Xiaomi had a factory re-opening in 2Q23, post which it made huge growth and replaced OPPO in this segment for the third position.\
  • The share of the entry-premium (US$200<US$400) segment reached a 6% share, up from 4% growing by 63% YoY. Xiaomi, Transsion, and OPPO gained a significant share, making up almost 78% of this segment.
  • Mid-premium sector (US$400<US$600) comprised of 1.4% share, with vivo leading with a 95% share of this segment.

Owing to current infrastructure and connectivity challenges, 5G smartphone share was only 3.4% of the total smartphone shipment. To expand 5G connectivity, the local government has taken two major initiatives. Firstly, a consolidated 5G license has been authorized by Bangladeshi Telecom (BTRC) to top telco players for the expansion of 5G, by sharing infrastructural resources and setting data retention standards. Secondly, Agency to Innovate (a2i) Bill was enacted in July 2023, making a2i Bangladesh’s innovation department a statutory organization, which will incur and support 5G development to establish a network infrastructure for ICT & IoT development. However, 5G smartphone shipment is only expected to grow slowly over the next couple of quarters owing to relatively better specs and lower cost of 4G smartphones.

Offline channels continue to dominate with eTailers having less than 1% share. “The consumer’s “hands-on experience” mindset, the availability of a wide range of products and discounts in retail stores including large chain stores such as Salextra and Gadget & Gear is proving to be a significant challenge for eTailer platforms like Pickaboo and Daraz”, added Anjney. “Although after five consecutive declining quarters, a 74% YoY growth in online channel in 1Q24, mainly due to “Daraz” portfolio expansion with leading vendors.”

Transsion led the market for the seventh consecutive quarter, with strong growth from its Tecno brand accounting for 44% of its total shipment and an affordable lineup of smartphones such as Spark Go 2024 which was the highest shipped model. Xiaomi experienced strong triple-digit YoY growth since reopening its plant in April 2023, owing mostly to demand for models such as Redmi 12, Redmi 13C, and Redmi Note 13 series. In the Feature Phone segment, Nokia (HMD) entered the market in 1Q24 and has already achieved triple-digit growth. The previous models were discontinued, and the brand released the 105 SS 2023 and 150 2023.


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