Low prices spur 8.7% rise in smartphone sales in SEA

Low prices spur 8.7% rise in smartphone sales in SEA

31 AUG 2015

Strong demand for smartphones across Southeast Asia, driven by falling prices, led to an 8.7 per cent increase in sales volume to 39.8 million units in the first half of the year from a year ago, according to GfK.

A wide range of lower-price options have made it much more affordable for price-sensitive consumers in these developing markets to switch and own their first smartphone, said Gerard Tan, account director for technology. While only 15 per cent of smartphones sold in the first half of 2013 were priced at $100 or less, GfK reported this segment now accounts for 35 per cent of the total market.

But compared to the previous half (July-December) the sales volume rose just 1 per cent or 400,000 units (see chart below, click to enlarge).
SEA smartphone sales

GfK’s point-of-sales tracking report covered the region’s seven key markets — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia — where H1 sales exceeded $8 billion. The firm reported positive year-on-year growth in all markets except for Singapore and Malaysia.

The three fastest growing markets during the period were Vietnam (27 per cent), Thailand (13 per cent) and the Philippines (10 per cent). Indonesia is the largest smartphone market in the region, with sales of 14.9 million units, followed by Thailand (6.6 million) and Vietnam (six million).

Tan noted that Indonesia offered the highest number of entry-level smartphone brands in the region.

GfK started tracking handset sales in Myanmar at the beginning of this year, with nearly three million handsets sold in H1, of which nearly 89 per cent were smartphones.

Chinese manufacturers have been playing a crucial role in transforming the market, which was once dominated by international brands. A quarter of the smartphones sold in the region in June was a Chinese branded model compared to only 4 per cent in 2013.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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