IT WATCH Is That Smart Phone?

From industrialist Rajendra Khetan to banker Anil Shah, smart phones are growing popularity in Nepal<br>Debesh Adhikari

Nov. 11, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

I-phone 5, the latest version of I-phone from the Apple Company, recently hit the global market. Although I-phone 5 is still not officially released in Nepal, the excitement about it is still very high. Similarly Samsung Galaxy phones, powered by Google’s Android operating system, have also been in the top priority of the common people as they are relatively cheaper than the I-phones and provide many features to compete with the rival Apple. Nokia seems to be getting behind in the race of smart phones, although it has been constantly coming up with new and improved phones to attract the people.


Smart phones are growing in popularity even in Nepal. Be it students, professionals or retired people, everybody wants to own a smart handset. So what is the main reason for such a growing popularity of smart phones in a developing country like ours where technology still keeps many off bounds?


The main reason for the popularity of smart phones is rooted in the addiction of people towards social media sites. People want to use social networks any time it is possible and nowadays every smart phone is equipped with integrated support for social networking sites.


According to Facebook, the rate of growth in mobile usage of Facebook will exceed the growth in usage through personal computers for the foreseeable future. The usage of Facebook through mobile phones is rising even in the developing countries like in the developed countries.


People want to stay connected with others all the time and also give updates on their locational information along with general other updates.


Anil Keshary Shah, CEO of Mega bank, is often found updating his Facebook status using a smart phone.  Rajendra Khetan, Chairman of Khetan Group, is another example in the long list of prominent figures that use smart phones to update their social networking status.


Not just celebrities, but so many have been affected by the craze of smart phones. The more surprising fact is that even people from many relatively rural areas are seen with a smart phone in hand.

“One of the main reasons of such penetration of smart phones has been the high foreign employment rate. Nowadays every new phone is a smart phone, so people who go abroad come back with smart phones or send it to their families,” said an analyst.


Even the local selling rate of smart phones is very high and according to the mobile phone retailers of New Road, nearly everyone who visits their stores wants a smart phone.

“I can listen to songs, watch movies, browse internet, read eBooks, edit text documents, play games and use many apps along with other general features, so why wouldn’t anyone want a smart phone?” said a student.

The selling of smart phone is not restricted by its price. Apple’s phones generally cost more than 50 thousand rupees and the latest galaxies are also available in the similar range in the grey mobile market of the country and the demands for such expensive phones are also high.


Smart phones not only provide extensive options and supports but are also viewed as a status symbol in our society.

“Smart phones are not just used for their features but they also represent status nowadays. Technology only gets successful if it puts people first. Nokia phones powered by Microsoft operating systems are popular because they put the people first and other things second,” said Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Country Director, Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal, at a presentation at Apex College.


“Due to wide range of available features and to keep up to date with modern technologies, I’m using a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone. As all modern smart phones are equipped with wireless technologies, it also helps me to connect to my friends and family using Facebook and I can stay connected with them no matter where I’ m, plus I use it whenever I’m bored or when there is no electricity, play with it, listen to songs and do many more things,” said Bijay Bhandari, an engineering Student.


Gone are the days when people used to carry mobile phones only for the purpose of making calls or sending texts. The new mobile phones offer people much more than just the bland voice connection. Smart phones are becoming much more than that, or just the devices to use social media.

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