SEA mobile phones market grows 24% over last 12mths
By Digital News Asia September 18, 2012
- Smartphones accounting for the larger proportion of total mobile phone market’s worth
- Indonesia largest mobile phone market in South-East Asia; 4.5mil smartphones sold there
HIGH consumer demand for smartphones and basic feature phones in South-East Asia’s fast developing markets continue to drive performances in the mobile phone sector, market research firm GfK Asia said in a statement.
In the last 12 month, sales of over 118 million units across the seven key markets in the region—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines – brought the total worth of the mobile phone sector to more almost US$137 billion, according to the latest results from GfK Asia.
Consumers in the region also bought an additional 10 million units of feature phones – 12% more than a year ago. However, it is the intensifying popularity of smartphones that is accounting for the larger proportion of the total mobile phone market worth, the market research firm said.
GfK findings point to a greatly increased smartphone consumer purchase rate by 78% across the seven countries to now account for over 61% of the sector’s overall value in South-East Asia.
“Feature phones still reign as the more prevalent mobile phone type used by consumers in the region’s emerging markets,” said Gerard Tan, account director for Digital Technology.
“However, smartphones adoption is escalating at a rapid pace with individual country’s growth rates reported in the range of 42% and 326%.”
The world’s fourth most populous nation of Indonesia is not surprisingly the region’s largest smartphone market. Its combined feature phone and smartphone volume sales grew by 26% in total, with individual segments reflecting concurrent growth of 19% and 56% respectively.
Although nearly four in every five mobile phones (78%) sold in the country are still feature phones due to their greater affordability, increasing number of consumers here are embracing smartphones which registered soaring sales of 4.5 million units over the previous year.
The Philippines continue to report exponential three-fold growth of 326% in smartphone volume sales, rendering it the fastest growing market for smartphones in South-East Asia. It is also the country with the highest jump in smartphone market share within a year, from 9% to 24%.
“Unlike the more developed countries like Singapore and Malaysia, smartphone sales penetration levels in some of the less developed markets such as Thailand and Vietnam are still relatively low at 19% and 11% respectively, leaving a significant portion of the population still available for potential growth,” said Tan.
Consumers in South-East Asia spent some US$8.75 billion on almost 29 million smartphones within the last 12 months, translating to 61% and 78% growth in volume and value. Findings showed that smartphone growth in the region is driven primarily by the more affordable devices priced in the range of US$100 to US$200 which is currently dominating the market.
“However, with major manufacturers recently announcing their intentions to launch low-end smartphones priced below US$100, the device will be within the reach of an even larger pool of consumers and the market expected to grow even faster when these models are made widely available,” said Tan.
“This move is likely to significantly expedite the demand surge for smartphones in the region’s yet to be converted feature phone user population which we expect to see continued robust growth for at least the next two years,” he said.