Although long hours of load shedding have become a regular part of life in Nepal, a large number of urban Nepalis are flocking to the nearest electronics stores to purchase the latest gadgets with cutting edge technology. The rising demands of Nepali consumers means that international companies are now vying for a market in a nation where electronic gadgets were once considered luxury items. Nepalis now have access to electronic products from all over the world.
Be it mobile phones, television sets or cameras, almost all electronic gadgets irrespective of their basic functions have internet connectivity these days. However, of all the electronic gadgets, mobile phones are by far the most revolutionary. With internet connectivity not just limited to high-end mobile phones, most mobile phone users are now connected to the internet and there has been a marked increase in the use of multimedia applications. "With so many options to choose from, people look for phones with multimedia functions at competitive prices." says Dikesh Malhotra, executive director of Samsung Mobile Plaza.
Low and mid-range mobile phones definitely occupy a major portion of the market; however, the number of people opting for high-end ones is steadily rising. "The sales of all five models of BlackBerry that have been launched so far are encouraging", says Geeta Thapa of Teletalk, which is the authorised seller of BlackBerry smartphones. And smartphones aren't just limited to the people in the corporate world. She adds: "Similar functions are also available in our mid-range mobile phones and they are quickly gaining popularity among youngsters."
Electronic gadgets released internationally make their way to Nepal and many other developing countries depending on their popularity and utility in the region. And with more and more gadgets being launched every few months, enthusiasts in Nepal can look forward to a wide variety of high to mid-range electronic products entering the market in the coming days. "We will launch next generation Transformer tablets in January next year", claims Amit Saraf, Director of Nagmani International which markets ASUS laptops.
"Given the increasing knack for high end electronic gadgets among Nepali consumers, ipad3, iphone5 from Apple, Android 4.0+ phones and tablets from Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola and Windows phone from Nokia will probably be the next big gadgets to hit the Nepali market", says Aakar Anil, an IT professional and technology blogger. However, numerous lower cost gadgets have many functions that are similar to their high end counterparts. Says Aakar:
Kindle Fire, the tablet version of Kindle released few months ago is much cheaper than iPad and other Android tablets and functions like computers. It isn't yet available in Nepal, but when it does arrive it will definitely become very popular."
Pick and choose