The adoption of smartphones continues to grow in Southeast Asia at breakneck speed, according to a new report from GfK which found smartphone sales across the region grew 61 percent over the past year.
The research firm found that consumers across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia spent $3.4 billion on more than 108 million smartphones. That’s an average cost of approximately $213 per device and, perhaps unsurprisingly given that figure, GfK found that Android was the dominant platform, accounting for 70 percent of smartphones sales — up from 50 percent last year.
There are some exceptions, however, as GfK’s Gerard Tan explains:
Growth in this region is primarily driven by affordable smartphones which averaged in the price range of $100 – 200. However, the rise of local brands in countries such as Philippines and Indonesia has resulted in the growing market share of those in the $50 – 100 price segment—the budget price range which bridges the transition from basic mobile phones to smartphones.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country, accounted for 37 percent of overall sales. However, the country punched below its weight on spending, accounting for just one quarter of the total revenue from smartphone sales during the twelve-month period.
That indicates that many Indonesia-based buyers opted for lower budget phones and — coupled with the fact that feature phone sales were also proportionally highest there — it demonstrates that the country is a little further behind the curve than the rest of the region.
There’s still plenty of progress to be made in general, since GfK found that feature phone sales were double that of smartphones. That is, however, some improvement on September, when the firm found that feature phones were selling at three times the volume of smartphones.
Unfortunately, the report is limited in geographical scope, and it doesn’t break out the figures by phone-makers; it would be interesting to see where BlackBerry — once dominant in the region — now sits. But, as it stands, the report provides an interesting insight into how emerging markets are embracing smartphones and Web-enabled devices.
Last week, data from IDC suggested Android accounts for 75 percent of all smartphone shipments. That means its impressive position in Southeast Asia is actually behind the global average.
Headline image via Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
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