Bangladesh Mobile Handset shipments touch 4.6 million units in Q4 CY 2012; Homegrown vendor Symphony Mobile leads the market



16.7 million handsets shipped during CY 2012; Launch of 3G services to see improved prospects for smartphones

According to CMR’s Bangladesh Mobile Handsets Market Review, Q4 CY 2012, April 2013 release, the Bangladesh market recorded shipments of 4.6 million mobile handsets during CY Q4 (October-December) 2012, with featurephones contributing to a major chunk of the pie.

In 2012, an estimated 16.7 million units of mobile phones shipped in the Bangladesh market.


On a year-on-year comparison, the Bangladesh market saw a decline of 1.9% in unit shipments in CY 2012 vis-à-vis CY 2011. This decline was on account of instructions passed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to vendors to mandatorily integrate Bangla language in all mobile handsets. The decline was primarily noted in Q1 CY 2012.


Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “The results are an indication to the India Electronics and Telecommunications industry about the many export opportunities emerging in neighbouring markets. Since local brands are doing extremely well in Bangladesh, the market could be served with handsets manufactured out of India at competitive price points. This will not only create an additional market for Indian mobile handsets, but also broaden supply chain options for Bangladesh handset vendors.”

 “The launch of 3G services by public sector mobile telephony operator, Teletalk in 2012 and the auction of 3G spectrum to private mobile operators in June 2013 are expected to greatly improve the prospects for smartphones in the next two years,” Faisal added.


Although the average Bangladesh mobile handset user is very price sensitive and usually goes for a mobile handset that costs between US$ 15-25, with the increasing popularity of smartphones for accessing social media and data services by the youth segment, a rise in adoption of mid- and high-end mobile phones is expected.

Commenting on the results, Rajat Kharbanda, Analyst, CMR SemiTronics Practice said, “Unlike common perceptions about the country, Bangladesh consumers have a taste and propensity to purchase high-end mobile phones. The ‘grey’ market which used to account for as much as 80% of total unit shipments until a few years ago has now fallen below 20% in the country.”

“Domestic players like Symphony Mobile, Smart Mobile, Maximus etc., have done well for themselves and have given serious competition to Tier-1 international players like Nokia and Samsung. Symphony Mobile has emerged as the fastest growing mobile handsets vendor in the Bangladesh market. An aggressive pricing strategy, contemporary features and styling, international quality build and a strong distribution network have contributed to make Symphony Mobile the preferred choice of Bangladesh customers,” Rajat added.

Other prominent players in the Bangladesh market include Nokia, Smart, Maximus, Kingstar, Micromax, G-Five, Octenn, Samsung, Forme etc., which offer their handsets through local distribution and retail channels.

Notes for Editors

  1. CyberMedia Research (CMR) uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of handsets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipments has been replaced by ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of mobile handsets and not their absolute value. In the case of handsets imported into the country, it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. CyberMedia Research does not track the number of handsets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Bangladesh soil from overseas destinations or ‘grey market’ handsets. These are, therefore, not part of the CyberMedia Research numbers reported here.
  2. CyberMedia Research (CMR) tracks shipments of Bangladesh mobile handsets on a quarterly basis. However, as per convention, the market size is reported on a calendar quarter basis where appropriate to the context; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.