Cellular phones have become an integral part of one’s life. Seldom will you notice someone without this handy little communication device whether it be a sales person at a small shop near your house, the driver cleaning the car in a posh garage of a bungalow or even the maid striving to earn her bread and butter by washing dishes- cellular phones seem to be an obligation rather than a choice. Cellular phones have also transformed into ‘status symbols’ among the Pakistani elite, teenage girls and boys are always ready to brag about the latest model clenched in their fists while these triggers of two-way communication traffic have secured a top place in the list of ‘inevitable needs’.
Observing the consumer behaviour towards mobile phones in the capital city of the most populous province of Pakistan- our very own ‘lively Lahore’, one can easily notice that the gender gap isn’t bridged up while owning this essential gadget even. In Lahore the male members who possess a cellular phone exceed in numbers to the female members. However, adoption of cellular phones has become very rapid ignoring the ‘gender segregated’ data results. The vibrant youth of Lahore forms the largest group to own cellular phones i.e 85%. Over 30% of the Lahoris wish to get rid of their old handsets after every 6 months (wonder if they do get old after 6 months…). Whereas, the more stint 52% prefers changing them after a year or so.
Quickly glancing at the preferences and the choices of ‘Zinda dilan-e-Lahore’ when it comes to purchase a mobile phone, it was noticed that majority of the consumers were fancied by brand new handsets but the demand for used ones was reasonable enough and couldn’t be ignored for that reason. Among the used ones, foreign and Chinese brands were a major source of attraction for buyers while there was negligible appeal for the local brands. A good majority still seems to be a big fan of the unmatched “Nokia” although a variety of brands are in the market. Most of the smart phone users were the students.
When we talk about cellular phones then there isn’t a possibility that we won’t check our pockets. The economical minds were willing to spend around USD 100-200 in order to purchase a new handset while the more generous ones were ready to spend USD 220. However, the former outweighs the latter when it comes to statistics. More than 50% of those people willing to spend over USD 220 belong to the ‘student sphere’ (who use their parent funds) and the members of the business class.
“It’s the use which makes the invention good or bad”, ‘calling and texting’ cellular phones have been tagged with both these purposes since their inception into the Pakistani society. Standing at the traffic signal, walking on the pavement, buying grocery at a store and even while driving people are in a hang of using both these popular functions. Lahori teens are overwhelmed by the late night call packages and SMS bundle offers which have rendered other functions of this innovative device passive!