'Pakistan to be next digital hotspot in two years' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Pakistan to be next digital hotspot in two years’

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: Pakistan will be the next digital hotspot over the next couple of years as the country is now among one of the top destinations for the mobile industry and global retail and e-tail giants, said a “white paper” prepared by online marketplace Daraz.pk. Moreover, with 125 million mobile subscribers in 2015, the country is also expected to become one of the most mobile-savvy countries in the world, said the report issued on Tuesday.

More importantly, the share of smartphone users among all the mobile subscribers has been on the rise, increasing from 7pc some three years ago to 31pc now, it added. This shows Pakistan has fared better than most countries, including India where only 20-25pc of the population has a smartphone.

According to Pakistan Startup Report, the number of smartphone users in the country can potentially go up to 110 million in the next 4 years.The major factors fuelling the use of smartphones were the introduction of third-generation (3G) and 4G technologies and low prices on the back of competition, the report said. Daraz.pk observed an over 50pc drop in smartphone prices in just two years — the average retail price of a premium smartphone has tumbled down from Rs61,000 to nearly Rs30,000, and the average number of smartphone sales has shot up by over 780pc between January 2015 and January 2016.

The repot said that millennials — people who turned 21 in 2000 or later — are the new target group for smartphone brands. In Pakistan, 77pc of the population is below 30 years of age and, according to a survey conducted by Grappetite, this segment is also the most tech-savvy as 80pc of them spend a minimum of two hours online daily. The rise in the use of smartphones can also be gauged from the fact that a recent survey conducted by Google said that 76pc of its users in Asia access the search engine on a mobile device. Similarly, the number of people accessing Daraz.pk via mobile has surged to 63pc of all users from 30pc a year ago.