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Buyers test out second-hand phones at one of the numerous mobile phone shops within the capital. Eli Meixler

The market of smartphones

As Cambodia shores up its consumer base, it is no surprise that smartphones have become a hot commodity. According to the latest Ministry of Telecommunications report, 6.3 million subscribers access online content through mobile phones.

Although SIM card ownership has reached a near saturation point in the country – topping at around 20.9 million last year – Cambodia has a voracious appetite for social media usage. According to a 2015 report by the Asia Foundation, an astounding 80 per cent of Cambodians access Facebook exclusively through phones, with only 3 per cent accessing it through computers. According to their data, there is an average of 1.07 mobile phones per person in the Kingdom.

While the percentage of Cambodians who own at least one smartphone was 39.5 per cent as of 2015, this reflected a 100 per cent leap from 2013. This percentage will surely increase as Internet penetration accelerates, and more products enter the market.

And with this, enters Cambodia’s ‘grey market’ for technology with unofficial distributors, stolen or second-hand devices shuffling quickly throughout the streets, or being sold over social platforms.

Here is a breakdown of prices for various popular mobile phones, and their respective worth in the three main markets where they can be purchased, sold, and traded.

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