The Indonesian smartphone market recorded strong growth in Q1, with Chinese vendors expanding their share sharply from a year ago, mostly at the expense of local producers.

China’s brands boosted their combined market share in the opening quarter to 31 per cent from 23 per cent in Q1 2016 (see chart below, click to enlarge). Meanwhile, local makers saw their combined share drop from 20 per cent to 17 per cent, according to a report from IDC. In Q1 2015, Indonesian manufacturers had a 34 per cent share.

Global suppliers, most notably Samsung, faced a 4 percentage point year-on-year decline in market share to 47 per cent.

Smartphone shipments during the quarter increased 13 per cent year-on-year to 7.3 million units, IDC said. The top-five smartphone vendors in the period were Samsung, Oppo, Asus, Advan and Lenovo.

Risky Febrian, an IDC market analyst, said: “The smartphone market in Indonesia has changed with the China-based vendors becoming more aggressive with their strategies, not just with their product line-up, but also their overall marketing plans and activities. Their cash-rich initiatives have left local vendors struggling to compete in the market space with their limited resources.”

Febrian said Samsung revamped its strategy to fend off the competition and maintain market leadership.

The research company noted China-based vendors have positioned themselves well in the mid-range segment with most of their handsets priced at $200 to $400. Due to the lack of brand equity, local vendors’ attempts to match them were unsuccessful, resulting in them having to continue playing in the low-end segment of below $200.

However, this did not dampen the local vendors’ attempt to gain back share as they try to provide more value-added services, with Advan developing its own Android user interface variant called IdOS.