PH is fastest-growing smartphone market in ASEAN – report
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is now the fastest-growing smartphone market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said Friday, June 17.
According to the firm's Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 3.5 million smartphones were shipped to the Philippines in the first quarter of 2016.
This led to a 20% year-on-year growth, in part caused by further smartphone adoption and further support from the country's telecommunications operators. This makes the Philippines the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia to date.
Jerome Dominguez, IDC Philippines' market analyst for mobile devices, explained: "While many of the more mature smartphone markets of the world already displayed signs of saturation, the Philippines smartphone market continues to enjoy robust growth owing to a relatively low smartphone penetration rate (30% in 2015), active local brand presence, and healthy consumer spending."
While local smartphone vendors still appear to have the lion's share of the sales in the Philippines, and budget phones priced under P3,500 ($75) lead the way, Dominguez added that global and Chinese vendors "are gradually catching up on the budget segment." Notably, Samsung and Asus have entered the sub-P6,000 ($129) market, with OPPO and Huawei of China also on a steady growth track.
"As the Philippines smartphone market matures and shifts from being an acquisition game to a replacement one, consumers are expected to demand more from a smartphone in terms of specs and performance," said Dominguez.
He added that a sign of the changing times – from buying a phone to finding a replacement for it – is the shift to looking for more random access memory (RAM) on their phones. "From 44% share in 2015," Dominguez noted, "less-than-1GB-RAM smartphones dropped to 38% last quarter as consumer demand for higher RAM for new mobile applications to run smoothly."
IDC advised vendors not to be complacent, to continue to be innovative, and to improve product quality and after-sales support to take charge in the Philippine market.
IDC expects smartphone shipments to the Philippines to grow by 25% in CY 2016. IDC also predicts 5-inch and 5.5-inch smartphones to continue dominating sales this year.
At the same time, IDC expects some issues to come with the growing adoption, most notably in terms of network congestion.
IDC Philippines Country Head Jubert Alberto explained that telecoms companies "should carry on with further expansion of their capacity and footprint nationwide," while adding that "it should also keep in check the price of mobile Internet, which still continues to be among the most expensive in ASEAN." – Rappler.com