Overall market reached a new peak, surged 9% in sales volume
3 fastest growing markets were Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines
DEMAND for smartphones in South-East Asia hit a new peak in the first half of 2015, as consumers across the region’s seven key markets continued to spend and generated over US$8 billion in sales value in the first six months of this year, according to market research firm GfK.
The seven markets concerned are Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In a statement, GfK said its latest point of sales tracking for January to June 2015 revealed a surge in demand by 3.2 million smartphones compared with the same period a year ago.
Except for the developed markets of Singapore and Malaysia, the other five countries reported positive year-on-year growth in their respective smartphone sales in the range of 7% and 27%.
The three biggest smartphone markets in the region are Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, where sales volume soared to around 14.9 million, 6.6 million and six million units respectively in the first six months of this year.
Meanwhile, three fastest growing markets were Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, which all reported heightened demand from last year by 27%, 13% and 10% respectively.
GfK commenced point of sales tracking of the mobile handset market in Myanmar at the beginning of this year. In January to June, nearly three million units of mobile handsets were sold in the country, of which nearly 89% were smartphones.
“The availability of a wide range of lower-price option nowadays have made it possible and much more affordable for price-sensitive consumers in these developing markets to switch over and own their first smartphone,” said Gerard Tan, GfK account director for Technology.
“For instance, while only 15% of smartphones sold in the first half of 2013 cost US$100 or less, GfK reports revealed that this segment now occupies 35% of the total market two years on, with Indonesia being the country with the most number of entry-level smartphone brands and consumers in this region,” he added.
Chinese manufacturers have been playing a crucial role in transforming the market which was once dominated by international brands, GfK said in its statement.
By June 2015, one in every four (25%) smartphones sold in the region was a Chinese-branded model, compared with only 4% in 2013.
“Following their successes breaking into the entry-level segment, Chinese brands can be seen introducing models with design and features which are comparable to those offered by today’s international brands,” said Tan.
“The perception of Chinese brands has been elevated considerably as a result of their heightened marketing campaigns and the opening up of dedicated showrooms and retail counters.
“This could greatly intensify the competition and shakeup the region’s smartphone marketplace,” he added.
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