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Nigerians settle for used phones as hardship continues

By Adeyemi Adepetun
21 April 2022   |   4:03 am
Smartphones shipment across the various markets fell by 11 per cent in quarter one (Q1 2022) owing to an ‘unsettling business environment’ fuelled by spikes in COVID-19, vendor uncertainty due to the Russia-Ukraine war, fresh lockdown in China and rising inflation around the world.

•Global phone shipment drops by 11 per cent
Smartphones shipment across the various markets fell by 11 per cent in quarter one (Q1 2022) owing to an ‘unsettling business environment’ fuelled by spikes in COVID-19, vendor uncertainty due to the Russia-Ukraine war, fresh lockdown in China and rising inflation around the world.

Analysts at Canalys, which revealed this, reckoned that the component shortage situation might improve “sooner than expected”, which would alleviate things.

Indeed, the impact of the challenge is being felt across the globe, with inflation and harsh economic situations taking a toll on spending. For instance, The Guardian gathered that more Nigerians are fast settling for refurbished or used mobile devices, especially smartphones.

Some vendors, who spoke with The Guardian, confirmed this situation, hinging the development on the dwindling purchasing power of Nigerians.

Obi Nwankwo, a major phone dealer at the Computer Village, Ikeja, confirmed that there has been a significant drop in the purchase of new phones, especially in the last two years.

Nwankwo, who estimated the drop at about 65 per cent in the last two years, said COVID-19 has had a huge impact.

“But it is not the same anymore. The market trend shows that people will rather stick to their old phones, even when there are cracks on them, than buy another one.
Better still, some buy used or refurbished ones. That is the new trend,” he said.

Another vendor, who preferred anonymity, said the poor economy has huge consequences for both vendors and buyers.

“The Nigerian economy is facing serious challenges, and it is obvious because the prices of phones have increased, while the demand for smartphones has drastically reduced. Before now, consumers normally would change their phones at least twice a year. But everything has changed now. Consumers now want more affordable phones.