Southeast Asia's smartphone market expands by 62%, says report

Staff writer
telecomasia.net
Southeast Asia’s smartphone market continues to expand rapidly with all seven key markets in the region reporting a total of nearly 7.7 million units worth almost $2.4 billion in the first three months of 2012, a new report said.
 
According to research firm GfK Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, and Cambodia registered spikes in demand for smartphones in the range of 40 to 400% more over the same period last year.
 
The smartphone revolution is in full swing but not all consumers are fully converted yet as one in three mobile phones sold last quarter was still a feature phone; although figures have been gradually dwindling over the last few years.
 
Share of smartphones have correspondingly been rising and today contribute more than 66% to the overall mobile phone pie, up from last year’s 50% in quarter one. “The largest smartphone market in this region expectedly is Indonesia which has a smartphone penetration rate of 62% and enjoyed sales exceeding $1.4 billion last quarter,” said Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia. “Meanwhile, the markets with deepest smartphone penetration are Malaysia and Singapore where levels have already reached a high of 88%, translating to almost nine out of every ten in the general population being a smartphone user.”
 
Latest GfK findings have uncovered some apparent consumer trends in smartphones across the region, one of which is the increasing preference towards touch only devices, whose take up rate today make up more than seven in ten (71%) smartphones—a considerable jump from last year’s 47%.
 
Another interesting development is the brisk sales enjoyed by the increasing number of smartphones which are equipped with advanced camera features. GfK reports revealed that over 35% of all smartphones sold in Southeast Asia in the first three months of the year were equipped with a camera of eight megapixel or more, as compared to figures one year ago which was only 12%. This mounting trend is especially apparent in Cambodia (70%), Singapore (67%) and Malaysia (58%).

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