In 2023, Pakistan’s local manufacturing industry witnessed a significant milestone as it produced 21.28 million mobile handsets. This achievement reflects the country’s growing capacity to meet domestic demand and contribute to the global mobile market.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite this positive development, there were several challenges faced by local manufacturers. Let’s delve into the details:

  1. Supply Chain Constraints: One of the primary reasons for the slight decline in local production was issues with importing components. The availability of essential parts became a bottleneck due to restrictions on opening letters of credit. As a result, local factories faced delays in assembling mobile phones.
  2. Commercial Imports: Interestingly, while local production dipped, commercial imports increased. Approximately 1.58 million mobile phones were brought into the country from other nations. This surge in imports highlights the demand for mobile devices in Pakistan.

Breakdown of Local Production

Out of the 21.28 million mobile phones assembled or manufactured locally:

  • 13 million were older 2G phones.
  • 8.28 million were smartphones.

Mobile Usage Trends

According to data from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA):

  • Smartphones dominate the mobile landscape, constituting 59 percent of all devices used in Pakistan.
  • Older 2G phones still hold a significant share, accounting for 41 percent of the market.

Import Expenditure

During the first half of the fiscal year 2023-24 (July-December), Pakistan spent a whopping $792.612 million on importing mobile phones. This represents a substantial increase of 118.45 percent compared to the same period last year. In December 2023 alone, the import expenditure surged by 20.16 percent compared to November, reaching $176.093 million. Compared to December 2022, the increase was a staggering 143.59 percent.

Overall, the amount spent on importing telecommunications equipment into the country rose by 78.64 percent from July to December 2023 compared to the previous year.


While local manufacturing faced challenges, the upward trend in mobile phone imports indicates a robust demand. As Pakistan continues to navigate supply chain complexities, it remains a key player in the global mobile industry.

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