Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Unregistered smartphone use is at its peak in Turkey

The smartphone market in Turkey has been experiencing a significant transformation in recent years. Factors such as high taxes, increases in passport registration fees and restrictions on installment opportunities cause an increase in unregistered use as well as official sales figures. According to a news article in Ekonomim, smartphone imports and unregistered usage in Turkey have reached record levels. While official sales are 11.5 million units, the informal economy is approaching 7 million units.

In addition to high taxes and passport registration fees exceeding 30 thousand TL, the lack of zero installment options directs consumers to alternative methods. This situation causes both import figures to increase and unregistered use to reach record levels. Mustafa Kemal Turnacı, President of the Mobile Communication Tools and Information Technologies Businessmen’s Association (MOBİSAD), states that the restrictive measures taken push consumers out of registration and cause the country to suffer tax losses.

Turnacı states that imports and unregistered use continue to increase, and that instead of making it difficult for consumers to reach the phone, making it easier with installments and low taxes will both reduce unregistered use and reduce tax loss. He also states that the number of cloned phones has reached a record level of 3.5-4 million and that the law is being developed to reduce the period of deletion from the IMEI pool to 1 year in order to eliminate the cloning method.

Incorrect determination of installment restrictions and failure of the control mechanism causes citizens to make purchases in installments by paying higher interest. Turnacı emphasizes that the decisions taken make the job of the citizens difficult and narrow the legal channel of the sector, but this situation cannot stop unregistered use. Stating that the number of imports and cloning is at its peak, Turnacı states that the consequences of the decisions taken should be evaluated.

These developments in the smartphone market in Turkey present significant challenges and opportunities for both consumers and the industry. While the increase in unregistered use negatively affects sales through official channels, the importance of a more flexible and fair taxation system to meet the needs of consumers emerges once again.

Danish Kapoor