108mil+ phones sold in SEA, 42mil of them smartphones
By Digital News Asia May 20, 2013
- One in every three mobile phones sold in this region was a smartphone
- 7 in every 10 smartphones sold was on Android; budget smartphones on the rise
CONSUMERS in South-East Asian markets continue to snap up mobile handsets at a rapid pace, propelling the region’s overall mobile phone market to expand further in the last 12 months by 14% in value and 8% in units.
Declining demand for basic feature phones was met by a corresponding spike in smartphone sales as consumers forked out almost US$3.4 billion more on over 16 million more smartphones compared with the previous year, GfK Asia said in a statement. The survey period was from April 2012 to March 2013.
According to findings from the market research firm, 42.2 million smartphones were sold, translating to an escalated demand of 61%. The total worth of the smartphone market across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia consequently grew to above the US$11-billion mark.
“South-East Asian consumers, especially those in the developing countries, are fuelling the exponential growth of smartphones as they switch over from their basic feature phone to the latest smartphone technology in their local market,” said Gerard Tan, account director of Digital World at GfK Asia.
“In the past one year, one in every three mobile phones sold in this region was a smartphone,” he added.
As the fourth most populous country in the world and the biggest in South-East Asia, it comes as no surprise that Indonesia is the greatest contributor of smartphone sales revenue and volume in this region.
The 15.8 million units sold accounted for around 37% of overall volume sales and close to a quarter of its total worth.
Meanwhile, smartphone take-up rate vary across the countries from 30% in Indonesia to more than twofold in Philippines (146%), Thailand (140%) and Vietnam (118%).
“Growth in this region is primarily driven by affordable smartphones which averaged in the price range of US$100-200,” said Tan.
“However, the rise of local brands in countries such as Philippines and Indonesia has resulted in the growing market share of those in the US$50-100 price segment – the budget price range which bridges the transition from basic mobile phones to smartphones.”
Within the smartphone segment, two specific features that are increasingly popular with buyers and often the deciding factor of which model to purchase are the display sizes and operating system, GfK Asia said.
The market for display size spanning 4.5 inch and above which currently make up over 20% of total market sales is growing and is anticipated to continue expanding as manufacturers launch newer and bigger models.
In terms of operating system, the open source nature of Android has also acquired many fans, heightening its dominance with seven in every 10 smartphones sold operating on the Android platform.
“Given that there is a substantial two-thirds of the region’s population who have yet to make the switch, there is still a sizeable potential market for manufacturers to capture and convert to smartphone users,” said Tan.
“Consumers in the developing regions will continue to be the driving force of the smartphone sector’s strong double or even triple digit growth performance in the coming years,” he added.