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    Pandemic crisis stifles demand for mobile phones — shopkeepers-

    May 5, 2021

    AMMAN — The pandemic crisis has reduced demand for mobile phones drastically, according to shopkeepers.

    Despite the digital revolution and the rapid shift to online due to the pandemic, demand for smartphone remained stagnant, they said.

    According to Obaida Mahameed, a sales officer at a local mobile shop in Amman, the demand for smartphones has dropped by 80 per cent compared with previous years.

    “Prior to the pandemic, sale rates were far higher than they are now and demand continues to decrease over time. The majority of consumers no longer purchase new devices, preferring to look for used ones that are half the price. And used devices are not always available,” Mahameed noted.

    He indicated that since the onset of the pandemic crisis, people’s priorities have changed. Under the current conditions, smartphones are not a priority product, he noted.

    “When people’s phones break, they don’t buy new ones, instead, they repair them. Even smartphone accessories aren’t in high demand either,” Mahameed told The Jordan Times.

    He also noted that shops had to lower prices due to low purchasing power.

    Ahmad Kurdi, owner of a mobile and electronics shop in Amman, attributed the low demand for mobile phones to curfews and lockdowns imposed to stem the spread of the virus.

    “People’s financial situation as a result of the pandemic has an effect on demand for goods in all industries generally, as many people have lost their source of income. People do not come to repair their broken phones until they are fully broken and stopped functioning, which has resulted in a 50 per cent decrease in demand for mobile maintenance,” Kurdi noted.

    However, he also noted that demand for laptops has increased due to the advent of online education and the adoption of work from home culture amid the pandemic.

    “The increased demand caused a supply shortage for laptops and tablets from companies, resulting in higher prices,” Kurdi told The Jordan Times.

    Many started to shift to tablets as they are cheaper in price than laptops, especially the used ones, Kurdi said.

    Sales of laptop and desktop computers exceeded $302 million in 2020, a 13 per cent increase from the year before and the most since 2014, according to market tracker International Data Corp.


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