PH 4th top market for smartphones in region – report
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines was the fourth-biggest market for smartphones among Southeast Asian countries in the first 9 months of 2013, according to Singapore-based research company Gfk Asia.
In an email to Rappler, Gfk Asia said smartphone sales in the Philippines amounted to US$1.24 billion in January to September, up 42% from the same months of 2012.
This ranked fourth highest, next to Indonesia ($3.33 billion), Malaysia ($2.25 billion) and Thailand ($1.96 billion).
In terms of volume, 5.1 million smartphone units were sold in the Philippines during the period, up 39% year-on-year. Gfk Asia said this was the fifth highest in the region.
According to the research company, smartphone penetration in Southeast Asian countries further deepened as more consumers upgraded from basic mobile phones.
"The increasing affordability of smartphones, particularly in the developing markets is helping many consumers in these countries make the switch from their basic feature phones to own their very first smartphone," said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology.
Smartphone sales in Southeast Asia amounted to $10.8 billion in the first 9 months, equivalent to nearly 41.5 million units sold.
"One in every two mobile handsets purchased in the region is now a smartphone," concluded Tan.
Android top seller
In terms of operating systems, Android continued to be the most sought after, with a 72% share across 6 key markets.
The platform was most widely used in the Philippines, where Android smartphones made up 91% of total sales in January to September, said Gfk Asia. Following the Philippines were Malaysia (83%) and Singapore (81%).
Gfk Asia noted that smartphones with larger screen sizes are increasingly becoming popular.
For instance, 4-inch and above smartphones, which used to account for 13% of sales, more than doubled their share. In January to September, one in four (27%) smartphones sold had a screen size of at least 4 inches.
"The latest trend in the market now is phablets, which is defined as mobile devices with cellular voice phone functionality and a display between 5.6 inch and 6.99 inch," said Tan. "Launched only recently around mid-2013, over 460,000 have already been sold and we will likely see greater take-up as more models enter markets." – Rappler.com