• Monday, April 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Cheap smartphones crowd out used ones in Nigerian market

Cheap smartphones crowd out used ones in Nigerian market

Nnamdi Acholonu, a 38-year-old internet marketer, lost his smartphone and was in need of immediate replacement to continue his digital work. He rushed down to Ikotun market to get a fairly-used Android phone with a budget of over N50,000 but was surprised to see well-functioning smartphones as low as N35,000.

“I was surprised with the price and was afraid not to make the wrong decision but the seller continued to convince me that the phone was in order. When I asked about the reason for the price, he told me that a lot of affordable smartphones are now in the market, especially Android, which have reduced the cost of fairly-used and second-hand devices,” Acholonu said.

Still uncertain, Acholonu said he quickly made a decision to go to a popular phone store, to buy the new smartphone and confirm the affordability story.

“At the end of the day, I ended up getting myself an Infinix smart7 of N71,000 after battling with choices. I saw a new Itel smartphone for as low as N45,000 and other affordable devices. This was unbelievable to me because it has been a long time since I changed my phone and also considering the economic situation of the country,” he said.

In the course of a market research, BusinessDay found that major smartphone companies like Tecno, Infinix, Itel and Oppo have released many new series this year with attractive prices.

Most of these devices and their unit prices as seen in the findings include: Techno POP7 – N56,845, Itel A60 – N46,911, Infinix Smart 7 – N56,351, Tecno POP 7 PRO – N68,962, TECNO Spark10 C – N76,916, TECNO POP7 PRO(3GB-64GB) BF7 – N64,040, Infinix Smart7 PLUS (64GB+3GB) 4G – N66,547, Infinix Smart7 PLUS (64GB+4GB) 4G – N71,385, and Infinix Hot30 4G 128GB+4GB – N78,365.

A source in a major smartphone store who chose to remain anonymous said they had sold more than 15,000 units each of these devices in May alone, with sales up 5 percent month-on-month, compared to the previous year.

Different smartphone dealers who spoke to BusinessDay also said the price of fairly-used smartphones has gone down as a result of new entries into the market.

For Global Communications Limited, a fairly-used smartphone store in Ikotun, Lagos, the new affordable smartphone products decreased the prices of mainly Android products, while upgrades in iPhones series lowered the prices of already existing products in the country.

“The prices of both Android and Iphones came down compared to the previous years, though it has been up since last week due to the increase in dollar rate. The new Android smartphones in the market now are affordable, so many now prefer adding more money to get a clean new product. For iPhones, the prices are usually down when new products arrive in the market. Once the iPhone 15, for instance, comes up, it will definitely reduce the price of other existing series. The entry of new products, especially affordable ones, undoubtedly affect the fairly-used market especially in android,” Global Communications said.

Dennice Agozie, who sells fairly-used phones at Computer Village Ikeja, said: “Many new smartphones in the market recently are coming with exceptional features and affordable prices. Imagine launching a smartphone series with 6000MAH battery, quality camera and other features with a low price. It has affected the sales and price of fairly-used products, especially in the android category.

“Many smartphones that were as high as N70,000 last year can be purchased presently at N66,000. These new smartphone products selling at affordable rates are also a means to test the market. It is mostly affordable when it is new to the market and when they notice there is a high demand, the prices will increase.”

Read also: The TECNO Camon 20 series: A smartphone that redefines affordable luxury

He said the price for an Iphone is mostly determined by the launch of a new series and naira-dollar exchange rate.

“When we talk about smartphones, we refer to both Android and iphone. Iphone prices change but more especially when a new series is launched. When there is a new iphone in the market, there is every tendency that others will drop in price. The rate of dollar is another factor that determines the price of iphones, if the dollar rate goes high, the prices of almost every iphone in the store will definitely go up and will also come down when the dollar rate stabilises,” Agozie said.

Ernest King, a phone dealer and repairer at Otigba in Computer Village Ikeja, said the prices of used phones mostly are determined by the choice and the availability in the market.

“There are some phones you cannot get in the store unless you find them fairly-used. New phones always have phases and can phase out of the store within a short period. You may purchase a new smartphone today and when you go back there in the next two months, you can’t get the particular brand. In this case now, the price will be higher if you manage to see the phone as second-hand or fairly-used,” he said.