It is 2020AD and the world is under siege, not from aliens or terrorists, but from a new plague called novel coronavirus. As the coronavirus lockdown intensifies around the world and manufacturing suffers, smartphone prices rise. What is happening and what should you expect in the weeks ahead?
It is no longer news that the whole world has been brought to its knees by the coronavirus outbreak that started in China in late 2019. Here in Nigeria, government has ordered a shutdown of airports and other ports of entry into the country, a shutdown of schools, and all other sorts of public gatherings, One of the likely implications is a rise in the cost of goods and services, and it is already happening with smartphones and other gadgets.
The selling prices of smartphones in markets around the country have began to go up. The increase in prices is as high as ₦10,000 in some instances, and even higher in others. For example, a few weeks ago, Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro cost ₦202,000 in the market. It ios selling for as hogh as ₦212,000 already at press time.
The non-Pro version of the Mi Note 10 nows sells for as high as ₦195,000. The vivo Y19, which was introduced in the market at the beginning of the month for just ₦77,000, now costs ₦82,000.
It does not appear that any brands are excluded from this increase in prices. And it is no surprise. Almost every smartphone sold in Nigeria is made in China. Manufacturing plants across China were shut down at the peak of the plague in that country, and even now that China seems to have brought it under control, it isn’t uhuru yet.
Many factories are yet to re-open. Supply chains are yet to swing back into full operation. And travel restrictions are in place – not just in Nigeria, but in many other countries. Nigeria has shut its dooes to travellers from high-risk coronavirus locations.
As a result, every single smartphone brand will record an increase in selling prices. HMD Global’s Nokia 7.2 is now hovering around ₦105,000, up from ₦100,000 price tag it had carried for many months.
It is interesting to observe that there hasn’t been an increase in the prices of phones from TECNO, itel, and Infinix yet. We haven’t seen any evidence of a rise in the price of Samsung phones yet either. But we expect it to happen. This virus outbreak is taking its toll on everyone.
If you managed to buy your smartphone just before these increases happened, congratulations: you escaped the purge. If you have spare cash and need a new phone now, this is the best time to go grab one. In the next few weeks, more prices will go up. It is even possible that prices that have already gone up will go up some more.
Whatever the situation, expect to pay between ₦5,000 and ₦15,000 above the old prices for any smartphone.
Welcome to the purge.
Coronavirus Public Service Information
In the meantime, practice social distancing. This virus has no cure yet and the only way to check it is to keep it from spreading from one person to another. Remember that the virus is passed round through human contact and infection happens through the mouth, eyes, or nose.
What to do: Don’t shake hands. Avoid touching public surfaces like hand railings. You cannot avoid doors, but you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any such surfaces. Use hand sanitizers with between 60 and 70% alcohol. If you have symptoms of the virus, isolate yourself in a well ventilated room and keep others away from direct contact with you.
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