It was identified that lack of proficiency in English, insufficient Bangla apps and complexity of using a smartphones are the primary reason.
In addition to that high price tag, lack of after-sales service and lack of training on smartphone usage are some of the other reasons why people are not inclined towards smartphones.
These findings came out after a local mobile handset company Elite Mobile released a research report after conducting an extensive and exhaustive survey on general population of 64 districts about the types of their handsets.
The report deduced that English language and the complexity of Android OS are the reasons why a person does not find interest to switch to smartphones.
Due to lack of knowledge in smartphones, people living in remote rural areas are missing out opportunities that internet can offer.
It was also observed that usage of smartphones has proliferated in cities and urban areas yet hard-working people of rural areas with low-income does not feel comfortable to adopt smartphones.
According to data from customs’ office, a total of 2 Crore 40 Lakh mobile phones have been imported in the year 2014, of which only 40 lakh were smartphones.
Based on survey of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (BMPIA), this year the number of mobile phone import is to rise to 2 crore 60 lakh.
Of which, only 63 lakh will be smartphones. BTRC’s 20 October report cites number of mobile phone users as 13 crore 14 lakh 36 thousand. The same report puts the number of internet subscribers to 5 crore 40 lakh 58 thousand.
Of them 5 crore 20 lakh are active users. BTRC says of those who are mobile phone users, 7 crore 94 lakh 36 thousand still out of internet coverage.
Meanwhile, in a report on world broadband scene published on 21 September, 2015 by United Nations Broadband Commission said, per household internet usage in Bangladesh stands at 6.4% in 2015 and on individual level, it is 9.6%.
On mobile internet facilities Bangladesh is significantly lagging behind, Broadband Commission says.
According to the experts it is imperative for everyone to have access to smartphones; which will take us a step closer to a true Digital Bangladesh. Smartphones are crucial for easy communication and internet access.
But people living in villages tend to stay on feature phones. Customs’ and BMPIA’s surveys also attest to that.
The report by Elite Mobile recommends to bring cost-effective smartphones, Bangla mobile apps and increase in internet based training to improve smartphone usage number.
These efforts require collaboration among the government, regulatory bodies, mobile operators and handset businesses.