KATHMANDU, Jan 2: The Nepali electronics market saw introduction of a plethora of high-end mobile phones costing over Rs 50,000 on 2017. While comparatively newer brands such as Oppo and Vivo also gained market the past year, traders say the consumers usually go for brands such as Apple and Samsung when it comes to expensive models. Despite that, less known brands like OnePlus also gained popularity in the Nepali market in 2017.
“Although there are many high-end mobile phones on the market, people tend to prefer phones of well known companies such as Apple and Samsung than other brands. However, the comparatively newer brand, OnePlus, was on popular demand in 2017,” said Rama Shrestha of J&J Enterprise, located at Pako, Newroad.
Similar trend was seen in a snap survey conducted by Republica on Sunday with 25 retailers of Kathmandu and Lalitpur to know about the most-sought expensive smart phones. A total of 19 retailers responded that Samsung's Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 were the most sold phones in 2017 followed by OnePlus 5 and 5T. These brands were followed by Apple's flagship product iPhone X, which is sold legally only at Apple's authorized retailers such as Evo Store in Kathmandu.
Speaking with Republica, Uddhav Pokhrel, showroom manager of Evo Store, said: “In spite of the models being extremely expensive, the demand for iPhone in Nepali market has increased. Apple's iPhone X has been excessively popular and we have none left in stock as of now. Five to seven iPhones were sold daily since the launch of iPhone X on December 1.”
Similarly, Gagan Shakya, a retailer at New Road, said: “A wide range of phones of different prices has been made available in Nepal by Samsung catering to the need of people of different backgrounds, ages and income. So more than 60 percent of phones sold are Samsung." He further added that as Samsung's high-end devices offer more features than those by Apple that are even more expensive, the sale of Samsung phones was higher last year in the Rs 50,000 plus range.
Officials of Integrated Mobility Solutions (IMS), the authorized distributor of Samsung products, said that the costumers of Samsung's flagship models spiked by five to 10 percent this year.
Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones worth Rs 350 million were sold in the last seven months of 2017, while Rs 120 million worth of Galaxy Note 8 phones were sold in the past three months since the launch of the model, they added.
“Sales of flagship models have increased this year and this is because people tend to buy better phones with each purchase. As an example, consumers using Samsung 'J' series unusually upgrade to the 'S' series and those using 'S' series purchase the Note series in their next purchase,” said Govind Soni, assistant business operations manager of IMS. Soni further added: “Due to this trend, the demand for high-end smart phones is destined to rise in the coming years.”
Apple's iPhone 8, 8+ and X, Samsung's Note 8, S8, S8+, and C9 Pro, OnePlus's OnePlus 5 and 5T, Huwaei's P10, Nokia 8, Xiomi Mi 6, Oppo F5, and Sony XZ are among the phones that are popular among Nepali consumers, according to traders.