MANILA, Philippines – Sales of smartphones and phablets (phone tablets) in the Philippines rose to 22% or 6.736 million units, data from the research firm GfK showed.
There were 5.527 million units sold in the same period the other year.
Sales of phablets in the country also jumped to 50% to 150,000 units from 100,000 units.
The country emerged as the 4th fastest growing market for smartphones and phablets in Southeast Asia, GfK said.
GfK also reported that smartphone ownership continues on its uptrend as 120 million units over the last 12 months were sold in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, representing a 44% jump in volume and 24% in value versus the same period a year ago.
Developing countries fuelling growth
“The big developing countries are the ones fuelling the strong surge in adoption as many outside the big cities are probably just making the switch from their basic feature phone and acquiring their first smartphone,” highlighted Gerard Tan, account director for Digital World at GfK Asia.
Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam have performed extremely well this 2014, reporting over 30% growth in generated revenue and sales volume,” Tan said.
Indonesia was the fastest, with volume growth of 70%; Vietnam with 56%; and Thailand with 44%.
For value growth, Vietnam topped with 52%; followed by Indonesia with 32%; and Thailand with 31%.
The introduction of low-end models by new Chinese manufacturers makes smartphones more affordable and making marketplace competition more intense.
“These budget smartphone models have gone down particularly well in the developing markets,” Tan added.
Indonesia is the only market where homegrown brands have continued to grow in popularity, with over 16% share in volume and 7% part in value of the local market.
Chinese smartphone brands are more prevalent in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam where their respective proportion of consumer spend have reached more than 10% of the total market.
“Major international brands are losing shares to the Chinese brands in price competition due to the low-cost of the latter which are selling their smartphones, including phablets, within the $50 to $200 range,” Tan said.
To date, more than 345 Chinese branded smartphones now exist across the region. While an internationally branded smartphone averaged at around $253, a Chinese branded one cost 58% lower at $159.
“Competition in the market will further intensify, as Chinese manufacturers are stepping up their activities in more countries, notably Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines,” Tan said.
The anticipated launch of new models by several international brands would spark further competition in the region, Tan said.
“Eventually, the winners who will gain from the price wars [are] the consumers,” Tan said. – Rappler.com
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