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Southeast Asia fuelling rapid growth of smartphones sales

Consumers in Southeast Asia continue to snap up mobile handsets at a rapid pace, propelling the region’s overall mobile phone market to expand further in the latest 12 months by 14 percent in value and 8 percent in units, research firm GfK said in its recent report.

According to GfK findings, sales volume of smartphones reached a new high at over 42.2 million units, translating to an escalated demand of 61 percent. Total worth of the smartphone market across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia grew consequently to rise above the USD11 billion mark.

GfK attributes the spike in smartphone sales to the declining demand for basic feature phones, which led consumers to fork out almost USD3.4 billion more on over 16 million units more smartphones compared to the previous year.

"Southeast Asian consumers, especially those in the developing countries are fuelling the exponential growth of smartphones as they switchover from their basic feature phone to the latest smartphone technology in their local market,” noted Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital World at GfK Asia. "In the past one year, one in every three mobile phones sold in this region was a smartphone.”

As the fourth most populous country in the world and the biggest in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the greatest contributor of smartphone sales revenue and volume in this region. The 15.8 million units sold accounted for around 37 percent of overall volume sales and close to a quarter of its total worth.

Meanwhile, smartphone take-up rate vary across the countries from 30 percent in Indonesia to more than twofold in Philippines (146 percent), Thailand (140 percent) and Vietnam (118 percent).

"Growth in this region is primarily driven by affordable smartphones, which averaged in the price range of USD100 to USD200,” 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 USD50 to USD100 price segment—the budget price range which bridges the transition from basic mobile phones to smartphones.”


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