An amendment restricting the number of installments on credit card shopping and loans in Turkey has shifted the balance in the smartphone market.
After the number of installments of up to 48 months were limited to just six at the beginning of September, smartphone sales saw a decline of 28.8 percent over the last two months, a report by the Turkish daily, Hürriyet said.
With this downturn, the phones that have an "entry level" price of TL 1,500 ($280) or less have taken the lead in the market in terms of sales in the month of October. According to the information, the share of smartphone models worth TL 1,500 and below reached 21.5 percent. Smartphones with prices varying between TL 2,000 and TL 3,000 ranked second with a 20.9 percent share, while the models priced TL 4,900 and above became the third biggest segment in the market.
In terms of brands, Apple's iPhone, which ranked second for a long time in terms of sales, fell to third place in the said period. As of October, Samsung holds a 47 percent share in the market, while Huawei and Apple have 18 percent and 11 percent, respectively. General Mobile ranked fourth with an 8 percent market share, while Vestel came out fifth with 7 percent. Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, a newcomer in the market, has managed to increase its share from 0 to 2 percent within a very short period of time.
Currently, all smartphones continue to be sold with installment periods of up to 12 months. However, the situation will change as of Jan. 31, 2019, when the installment periods for smartphones priced at TL 3,500 or more will be capped at three months.
The Trade Ministry's amendment to the Regulation on the Principles and Rules in Retail Trade (Retail Trade Regulation), was published on Nov. 28.
The amendment re-establishes installment periods for certain products. Accordingly, installment periods were capped at three months for TVs and audio and video systems and at six months for computers, tablets and mobile phones priced at TL 3,500 or more. The amendment will come into force on Jan. 31, 2019.