Mobile phones and tablets booming in Myanmar

The market for phones and Information and communications technology is growing significantly in Myanmar since the country opened to the world in the beginning of the 20th century. Burmese are becoming more and more connected and the number of phone reached 5.4 million in 2014. This was represented a penetration rate of only 9%, but the government is aiming for 80% by 2016. Tablet computers are not forgotten by this growth and more and more of them, especially small-screen tablets, are being sold more by every year. Most tablet users are found in the main cities Yangon and Mandalay where the Internet coverage is higher. This evolution goes hand-in-hand with the greater availability of Internet connection. The development of cybercafes and Wi-Fi hotspots definitely explains this evolution: it is now possible to access the Internet from these multiple points from a smartphone or a Wi-Fi only tablet. Let’s not forget simple mobile phones, which are still very widespread in Myanmar. Cheap, sturdy and reliable, they are ideal for people who only use their phones for making calls and sending text messages. 

In contrast, landline phones, because of their installation costs, are not popular in the country


Tablet or smartphones?

The main difference between the two, besides their size, is the ability to make calls with smartphones, using a SIM card or even two if you own a dual SIM phone. Otherwise, the two are sharing more and more features with each new generation: Android and iOS tablets are now available with LTE, meaning they do not only rely on the Wi-Fi. In the meantime, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger: some models, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, are called “phablets”, a combination of “phone” and “tablet”, as their size is very close to the one of a small-screen tablet. 

Both types of devices are used for Internet browsing and gaming, and for online communications. They are equipped with a camera which makes them suitable to take pictures. Because of their bigger screen, tablets are more convenient for working or for watching movies. Their size makes them more convenient to carry than laptops, and for people who like to use a keyboard, the option of convertibles and hybrids is available. 


Most popular tablets and phones in Myanmar

When it comes to smartphones, brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Sony or Apple are among the most popular. Depending on the Brand,generation and model, a phone can cost anywhere between 200000 Ks to 900000 Ks. 

Tablet computers with smaller screens are preferred by the Burmese, like the Mi Pad from Xiaomi, or the famous Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad Mini 4. Their prices range from 200000 Ks to 600000 Ks


Where can you buy phones and tablets in Myanmar?

Physical stores are the traditional choice for buying electronics in Myanmar. As the capital city, Yangon has a lot of choice and you will probably find the tablet or the phone you are looking for. If you are looking for a good deal, for instance by buying a second-hand phone, or if you don’t live in an area of Myanmar with many store options, buying online through classifieds websites is the best solution. You can browse the ads near you and meet the vendor at your convenience.

If you are looking to sell your smartphone or tablet to maybe buy a new one, classifieds offer you the opportunity to reach a great number of potential buyers in your area, and are completely free.