People in India will have to shell out more for smartphones in the coming days. This was highlighted by industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) this week. The association said that increase in import duty on displays will invariably lead to a hike in prices of mobile phones in the country. The changes are likely to push mobile phone prices up by three percent, as given in a PTI report. Also Read - Facebook's Discover app offers free web browsing data on a mobile phone
The country’s government is looking to strengthen its domestic manufacturing base. Import duties were hiked recently to encourage brands to set up shop in the country. But ICEA says the plans to move forward with a local manufacturing base has taken a hit because of the pandemic. Many companies have had to postpone their announcements, in order to sustain themselves during the tough period. The new import duty hike came into effect from 1 October, and the industry body is seeking reprieve from the government. Also Read - Best Mobile phones for Video calling and Video chat
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The effect of the new import duty is likely to offset the excitement for the festive period in the country. This is usually the time when brands ramp up their product launches, anticipating high consumer demand. But with the pandemic already causing economic issues, it’s likely people will be apprehensive of splurging this year. Also Read - Make In India: Government announces special fund to boost local manufacturing of mobile phones
Mobile phone prices already hiked because of GST
The hike of three percent on mobile phone prices might not sound like a lot. But with most people buying in the sub-20,000 price bracket, the impact of even Rs 500 could be a gamechanger. Changes in the GST slab had already made an impact on mobile phone prices. The tax on mobile phone parts also increased from 12 percent to 18 percent back in April. All of the above factors have already resulted in price changes of various existing smartphone models from the likes of Xiaomi and Oppo.