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Friday, December 14, 2007

Always growing, but never improving

Yesterday I went to the 2nd Dhaka International Mobile Phone Fair 2007 with some intentions to check out the best offers that were available from the sellers, telecom service providers and others. I have always known that whenever you go to such a fair, you get things at reasonable rates, and sometimes at low prices. I found a lot of people like me waiting in the queue to buy a ticket and to get in.

I got disappointed at the first sight as I was entering the fair. It was not like a standard one. Just some stalls with a number of sellers. Very mundane, very amateurish. Absence of most of the well-known companies like AKTEL, WARID, grameenphone etc. made it more boring to me. I strongly believe that many people were expecting them as well. I asked someone about their absence, but it ended up with no suitable answers. I saw some underground companies, along with a real state company and a University stall. They were promoting themselves there. All of these made me ran out of that place.

I noticed some alluring offers from a range of sellers while moving along. They were tendering some old sets (like Sony Ericsson T20, Siemens C35, etc.) at a price as low as taka 830 only. I wish you could only see people rushing to those worthwhile offers! But did they know those sets were the ones which were not sold when they (sellers) bought them (sets) to sell? Some of the sets were found to be troubled, and some others were found to be of low quality. In a fair when people are in a hurry, they often do not think about these and make their choices at once.

I also noticed a lot Chinese sets resembling NOKIA. Many people were interested in them as well. First of all they look like NOKIA. Secondly, they produce more sounds than Sony Ericsson, and the last but not the least they have cameras. I asked a potential buyer why he was choosing a fake NOKIA set while the original NOKIA stall was standing just a few meters away. He said that he could not afford the price to buy an original NOKIA of the similar kind. I informed him that his set is not going to last a couple of months. Hearing me he smiled, which meant I was crazy. Then I asked one of the sellers about the warranty of the sets. She said no warranty is provided with the sets.

However, I also found some good sets and offers. NOKIA brought N95 8GB, 5310 and 5610. Computer Source brought HEDY, together with some other cool sets. ASUS and HTC –PDAs were brought by Global Brand Pvt. LTD. Arena showed TECHNO mobile. SAMSUNG was offering gifts with its products. Venn brought a set that allows you to add some numbers to a blacklist which would help you get less missed-calls. Electro-Mart reduced the price of its KONKA mobile sets exclusively for the fair. Maximus and Motorola brought some new models with attractive prices. INTIGRA brought Sprint, Malata and ALCATEL.

Whilst there were some good offerings, there were some worse ones either. On one hand, if you wanted to buy a quality set you could not afford, and on to other, if you wanted to buy a low-class set you could not have any warranty. Which side would you fall for then? I saw a slogan written on the banners of the fair, Always growing, always improving. Yeah, it’s right that our mobile market is growing. But I cannot agree that it’s improving. What do you say?

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