B angladesh imported BDT80 billion worth of mobile handsets in 2016, and smartphones made up about BDT60 billion of that amount. Local brand Symphony, which happens to be the market leader in both the smartphone and feature phone segment, imported the highest number of handsets in 2016, closely followed by International brand Samsung, said Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA) at a press conference held in its office in the city on February 13, 2017.
BMPIA president Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub, general secretary Rezwanul Hoque, senior vice president Rakibul Kabir, treasurer ATM Mahbubul Haque, joint secretary Mohammed Mesbah Uddin, and assistant joint secretary Joynal Abedin spoke at the briefing. The speakers said that once the handset production tax assistance policy is implemented, the producers will be able to cut down the cost of smartphones even further. Currently, 31 percent of the mobile phone users use smartphone. If local production can be ensured, the rate can exceed over 80 percent within this year, they said. According to BMPIA report, 55 organizations imported over 31 million handsets last year. The government received revenue worth over BDT13 billion from these imports. Symphony imported 112,000 handsets, followed by Samsung with 2 million, Walton 1.8 million, Huawei 700,000, Lava 7 lakh, Oppo 200,000 and others 1.42 million handsets.
Samsung holds the lead in terms of the value of the imported smartphones. Last year, they brought handsets worth BDT18.97 billion, while Symphony’s imports worth about BDT18.30 billion. The increase in mobile Internet users is increasing the demand for smartphones, said the importers. BMPIA officials said that an IMI database for the imported handsets is being prepared. Once that database is completed, illegal import of handsets will be stopped, and the customers will be protected from substandard and fake handsets.