Mobile-phone manufacturing companies have started to increase the prices of their products, including basic phones, smart phones, and tablets, since the beginning of last year. The companies were affected by the shortage of the dollar in the formal market, before the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to liberate the exchange rate, increasing the dollar price in the informal market.
Most phone prices this year have increased by more than 15% compared to the previous year, while others increased by 50%. A number of companies sought to limit the price hikes of their products, and their March prices decreased by up to 11% compared to January and February. Prices, however, are still high.
Samsung increased the price of its Galaxy S7 Edge LTE 32GB in January from EGP 9,450 to EGP 11,700, with an increase of about 23%. According to March’s pricelist, the South Korean company reduced the price of its phone to EGP 11,100—a 17%-increase over its 2016 price.
The price of the Piton increased from EGP 495 in December 2016 to EGP 540 in January 2017, an increase of 9%. This Samsung basic phone recorded an increase of 68% since the flotation of the pound, registering at EGP 320 in October 2016.
The price of the J1 mini increased from EGP 960 to EGP 1,140 in January 2017, an increase of 18.75%. According to March’s pricelist, the J1 mini recorded EGP 1,100: an increase of 14% compared to last year.
The price of the J5 reached EGP 3,280 in March, an increase of 59.2% compared to last year. The J5 price had increased in January by 69.8%, from EGP 2,060 to EGP EGP 3,499.
The price of the Samsung Galaxy J7 LTE increased from EGP 2,660 to EGP 4,999 in January, an increase of 69%, before the company reduced its price to EGP 3,900 in March, recording an increase of 46.6% compared to last year.
Huawei Mobile Devices increased the price of its mobile phones and tablets on 18 February by 8.6%, according to the pricelist of which Daily News Egypt obtained a copy. The Mate 9 phone’s price increased from EGP 10,010 to EGP 10,879, whereas the price of the Mate 8 increased from EGP 8,950 to EGP 9,725.
In February, the price of the G8 increased from EGP 4,770 to EGP 5,179, the Y6 Pro-3G from EGP 2,530 to EGP 2,749, and the Y3C from EGP 935 to EGP 985. The price of the Media Pad-4G tablet increased from EGP 3,533 to EGP 3,839, while the Media Pad-3G increased from EGP 1,931 to EGP 2,099.
Infinix also reduced the prices of its mobile products this month, where the Hot 5’s price was reduced from EGP 2,640 to EGP 2,455, up from EGP 2,225 pre-flotation. The Hot S Pro declined from EGP 2,850 to EGP 2,640, after it registered EGP 2,390 before the flotation.
According to the price list of Infinix, the price of the Note 3 reduced from EGP 2,999 to reach EGP 2,775, having recorded a price of EGP 2,515 before the flotation. The Note 3 Pro also reduced from EGP 3,230 to EGP 3,000, after it registered an EGP 2,720 price in 2016.
According to the new pricelist, the Hot 4 reduced from EGP 1,760 to EGP 1,635, while it recorded EGP 1,418 in 2016. The Hot 4 Pro also reduced from EGP 2,090 to EGP 1,940, after its pre-flotation price was EGP 1,687. The Zero 4 declined as well from EGP 3,999 to EGP 3,730, after it reached EGP 3,385 in 2016. The Zero 4 Plus reduced from EGP 5,599 to EGP 5,190. It had registered a price of EGP 4,710 before the flotation.
Egypt has been suffering from a serious shortage of US-dollar liquidity since 2015. This has pushed the CBE, in cooperation with the government, to initiate many procedures, such as adding import and customs regulations, cancelling the maximum limit of US dollar deposits, and increasing the dollar value in the formal exchange market in March by 14%. After the flotation of the pound, the dollar exchange rate in the banks in the informal market reached about EGP 20.
The sales of the mobile market declined locally during the first quarter of 2016 by 7% compared to the same period of 2015, according to a report issued by market research company GfK, whereas the market sales of January, February, and March were 4m, compared to 4.3m during the same period in 2015. The market is expected to witness a decline in growth this year, according to GfK.