Myanmar’s devices market set to explode: IDC

  • Infrastructure development accelerates, SIM prices plunge; new telco licences awarded
  • Impact on mobile phone shipments to only be felt next year; tablets have no such delay

ACCORDING to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest study, ‘Myanmar Mobile Phone, PC, and Tablet 2013-2017 Forecast and Analysis,’ Myanmar’s devices market will soon take centre-stage as the country hurtles towards becoming an ICT-driven nation.
With the awarding of telecommunications licences to Telenor and Ooredoo, prices of SIM cards as well as service provision have dipped considerably towards levels even low-wage earners are able to afford.
This is expected to drive a considerable uptake in demand for both mobile phones and tablets, IDC said in a statement.
“The Myanmar Government has set highly ambitious targets for mobile subscriber penetration over the next two years, and at this point, it is on the right track, but there is still much work left to be done,” said Daniel Pang, Asean research manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.
“Based on the current state of telecom infrastructure and the plans of the new operators, the impact on mobile phone shipments is expected to only be felt some time next year. While SIM cards are being issued at a hectic pace, much of the country still suffers from poor network coverage, and thus, they continue to be put up for sale in the black market instead of into new mobile phones.
“Therefore, vendors will likely only boost shipment quantities in the second or third quarter of 2014 once the telecom infrastructure has improved and more SIMs are available to consumers,” he added.

Myanmar’s devices market set to explode: IDC

“The tablet market, however, does not face any barrier to growth,” said Pang.
“More and more WiFi hotspots are being developed to improve access to Internet for tablet users. Furthermore, prices for tablets dipped significantly at the end of 2012 and are continuing to fall, which will drive much higher demand across 2013 and beyond,” he added.
As Myanmar's economy experiences the benefits associated with government reforms, IDC’s study also reports that the PC market could be due for an expansion in 2013.
The costs of Internet subscriptions are expected to decline gradually, particularly for equipment and administrative fees. Announcements that a high-speed Internet cable network is being built this year, and more hydropower dams over the next few years, will excite the market.
Reduced costs and stability for Internet connectivity as well as electricity supply will inspire confidence in businesses and consumers to start investing in acquiring/upgrading not just PCs but also other devices as these tools are essential for growth, IDC said.
“As the economy blossoms, the market will also more actively roll out productivity tools for work and study,” said Pang.
“Desktop PCs, and to a lesser extent notebook PCs, have generally sold poorly over the years as the Government battled to generate sufficient power supply for basic needs. But as income levels rise, Internet costs decline and more hydropower plants are built, IDC expects the PC market to move into a healthy growth track.
So the outlook for Myanmar’s personal devices market is very bright; all that remains is to figure out how to tap into its potential,” he added.

Myanmar’s devices market set to explode: IDC

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