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Thailand dries off and ramps up IT spending

Smartphones and services set to propel country to second in SE Asia

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Thailand is back on the scene and spending like there’s no tomorrow, according to new IDC stats which show the country is set to complete its rehabilitation from the devastating floods last year and jump to number two spot in IT spending in Southeast Asia.

The analyst’s latest IT spending forecast predicted Thailand will leapfrog Singapore into second place, a position it has not managed to reach for a couple of years thanks to a combination of macro-economic gloom and the widespread floods which brought consumer and business spending to a standstill.

IDC is predicting Thailand’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will hit 10.8 per cent from 2012–2016, with the country spending spend $11 billion (£6.8bn) on IT compared to Singapore’s $10.6bn (£6.6bn).

Key to the kingdom’s stellar growth over the next five years will be growing demand for smartphones and IT services, the analyst said.

In terms of smartphones alone, Thailand posted 76 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in 2011, pulling in over $1.5bn (£932m).

"Thailand will be one of the region's rising smartphone stars in 2012, as tech-savvy consumers continue to snap up iPhones at the high-end while international and domestic brands alike drive greater mass adoption by pushing smartphone prices below the US$150 mark," said IDC research manager Melissa Chau in a canned statement.

In addition, the IT services market in the country is set to grow faster than any other in the region thanks to the limited skills base of local companies and the need to meet demand from a growing consumer sector, IDC said.

The overall picture tallies with other reports highlighting the path to IT growth in Thailand as the country dries itself off for 2012.

Market watcher GFK predicted last month that tablets, smartphones and TVs would all sell well in 2012 thanks to pent-up demand and manufacturer discounts. ®

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