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Mobile on the Rise in Myanmar

“I just won’t leave home without it. It’s like my personal secretary. And the best part is, I don’t need to give it a salary,” entrepreneur Aung Myat Oo quipped about his Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Recently having taken over his family’s restaurant, he has just discovered how useful a smartphone can be at work.

“More than the cooking, I take care of our restaurant’s operations. So it’s really important that I get to check email wherever I am. In this line of work, a lot of things can go wrong, every single minute,” Aung Myat Oo said.

“At least with my Note, I feel connected to the people who can help me put out fires. So I feel more at ease.”

Aung Myat Oo is not alone in his gadget-love. In just 24 years, Samsung has managed to grab a formidable share of the smartphone market in Myanmar. Its Galaxy line has grown in popularity since it was first released in 2009. The range’s latest offerings are especially favoured by young adults.

Thiri Swe, a 19-year old university student, said she’s too attached to her Galaxy S3. She said with a grin, “I check Facebook way too much. And I just can’t stop Instagramming things. But that’s the way I keep in touch with my friends.

“It makes me feel like we’re all together, even when we’re not. Sometimes, it’s hard to drag myself away from my S3. We all prefer the Chat On app and it’s great fun.”

It’s not the young people who are engrossed with their mobile. Nowadays, it’s perfectly normal to see Myanmar adults with their heads buried into their phones and tablets.

“Business is good,” says May Phuu Aung, a dealer at the Bo Aung Kyaw Samsung Brand Shop.

“I get all sorts of customers. Old, young. Sometimes too young,” he said.

And it’s not just about the phones anymore. May Phuu Aung said a lot of his customers are starting to welcome Samsung tablets and the larger-sized phones.

“It used to be about having a smaller phone. Now, they are buying the models with the bigger screens. I guess they prefer it. And for them, it’s cheaper and better than  other options available,” he said.

“For me, they are all the same. But these young people make selling these Galaxy phones so much easier. At the rate they’re flying off the shelves, I’ll be able to open my own dealership very soon.”

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