SEA smartphone market tops $11b

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 May 2013

Smartphone sales in Southeast Asia climbed 61% in the last 12 months to 42.2 million units, worth over $11 billion, GfK estimates.

But despite the impressive growth figures, an estimated two thirds of Southeast Asia's population are yet to make the transition to smartphones, the research firm said.

The region's overall mobile market grew 14% in value and 8% by unit sales over the same period, as declining feature phone sales were more than matched by smartphone demand. Roughly 108 million handsets were sold in the market over the last 12 months.

Indonesia was predictably the greatest contributor to the region's smartphone sales volumes, with an estimated 15.8 million units shipping during the quarter.

But smartphone takeup in Indonesia, at just 30%, doesn't come close to the penetration rates in the Philippines (146%), Thailand (140%) and Vietnam (118%).

While growth in the region is primarily driven by sales of smartphones in the $100-$200 range, GfK said the rise of local brands in the Philippines and Indonesia is driving market share for the sub-$100 budget smartphone segment.

Android dominates the Southeast Asian smartphone market, accounting for an estimated 70% of smartphones sold. The local market is also showing a growing preference for display sizes of 4.5-inches and higher, GfK added. This size range currently accounts for over 20% of total sales.

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