Huge promotions on smartphones in Qatar
Big weekend promotions on smartphones, offered by all popular brands, have evoked huge response of customers. Under the promotional prices, which are available on most leading Japanese, Chinese and Korean brands, offering heavy discounts, as high as up to 40 percent on original prices of certain phone models.
These attractive offers are available at several major retail outlets, including Lulu Hypermarket. Discount prices are mostly available on mid and high mid-range smartphones of Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG and others. Faced with sluggish sales growth, understandably due to high mobile phone penetration and relatively small market size, most companies are struggling to boost sales, and offering big discounts even on their flagship models, such as Samsung Galaxy S9. The price of Samsung Galaxy S9 (64 GB) has been reduced to QR2,149 from QR2,999, offering a discount of 28 percent.
The price war started by low cost Chinese brands has affected sales of all big companies. Japanese electronics giant Sony is also offering heavy discounts on most of its smartphone models. For instance Sony’s Xperia XA1 Ultra-G3212 (32GB) model, which was originally priced at QR 1,499, is now available at just QR929 with a massive discount of 38 percent. Analysts say that smartphone penetration in Qatar is one of the highest in the world (nearly 100 percent) with everyone having at least one smartphone, and a significant percentage of the 2.6 million people having two or more than two gadgets.
Enquiries with some major mobile outlets suggest that the sale of mobile phones in Qatar has reached at its peak, or plateau. But despite this, whenever some special promotions are announced they have been proved helpful to boost sales. “This big weekend promotion, which started yesterday, is offering good discounts on almost all brands and phone models. Promotions are always helpful to boost sales. As you can see big number of people are coming, enquiring and buying their favourite models,” said a sales executive at Lulu Hypermarket’s D Ring Road branch.
The executive added: “We expect this rush of customers will continue until Saturday night. This particular branch, due to its strategic location, always attracts more customers than any other branch of Lulu in Qatar.”
The sales of smarphones are not limited to personal use. A lot of customers, according to the executive, wait for such promotions to buy phones for their spouses and children. And many expatriates purchase phones aiming to gift to their loved ones when they visit their home countries. The reason being many electronic items, such as smarphones, laptops and televisions are much lower in Qatar compared to expatriates’ home countries. Assured quality and good after-sale service are also important factors.
“The performance of smartphones deteriorates after excessive use especially by children, thus need replacement after some time. We have more than half a dozen gadgets, but with time all have become either slow or their batteries die frequently, so looking to buy a new one as it is a good opportunity”, said Shahid Khan, a government employee for over 20 years in Qatar.
Khan added: “I have to buy Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 model for my nephew also. I find the phone at least 30-40 percent cheaper than the prices in India. He will be very happy… When I recently visited India, I saw my nephew (a college student) haplessly waiting to buy it (Redmi Note 4) for several weeks as the model, due to its specifications. It is a very fast moving phone in India, and the stocks are always finished within days of the arrival, and some retailers, taking the advantage started selling it at premium prices.”