Feeds

Explosion predicted in Myanmar's mobe and slab markets - analysts

Device prices plummeting in Burmaemerging Asian nation

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes

Market watchers are predicting an explosion in the handheld device market in Myanmar, driven by rapid infrastructure building, government reforms and the new mobile operator licensees Telenor and Ooredoo.

Smartphone shipments will grow nearly six-fold to around six million in the next four years, while the number of tablets in the reclusive Asian state will jump more than eight-fold over the same period to over 400,000.

Of course, these are still small numbers when put in the context of Myanmar’s 60 million + population, which makes it southeast Asia’s second largest nation. Despite ambitious government targets of an eight-fold increase in mobile penetration to around 80 per cent by 2016, there is still a lot of work to do, according to IDC ASEAN research manager, Daniel Pang.

"While SIM cards are being issued at a hectic pace, much of the country still suffers from poor network coverage, and thus, they continue to be put up for sale in the black market instead of into new mobile phones,” he said in a canned comment.

“Therefore, vendors will likely boost shipment quantities only in 2Q14 or 3Q14 once the telecom infrastructure has improved and more SIMs are available to consumers."

On the plus side, infrastructure is being built rapidly and the country’s two new operators are offering SIM cards and services that even low wage earners can afford, according to a new IDC report, Myanmar Mobile Phone, PC, and Tablet 2013-2017 Forecast and Analysis.

The report said tablet sales have been boosted by falling device prices and an increase in Wi-Fi hotspots, although according to the ITU internet penetration stood at just over 1 per cent last year – a testament to over 40 years of military rule and international isolation.

Nevertheless, economic reforms and the construction of a new high speed internet cable should help spur improved quality and falling prices for internet services, which in turn can give businesses and consumers the confidence to invest in PCs and other connected machines, IDC said.

The World Bank this week agreed to lend Myanmar $140m to upgrade an ageing power plant in the south-east of the country, which will aid efforts to improve the stability of power supply also vital to driving IT growth.

PC sales are only expected to double over the next four years, while these infrastructure and energy investments come to fruition.

“As the economy blossoms, the market will also actively roll out productivity tools for work and study. Desktop PCs, and to a lesser extent notebook PCs, have generally sold poorly over the years as the government battled to generate sufficient power supply for basic needs,” said Pang.

“But as income levels rise, internet costs decline and more hydropower plants are built, IDC expects the PC market to move into a healthy growth track.”

The question remains who the big winners will be in the device space as the country gradually comes in from the cold.

Given Myanmar's emerging economy is still very much in its infancy, it’s pretty certain that low-end Android devices are likely to be in most demand.

HTC announced in January it was partnering up with local distributor KMD Computer Group to sell six models in Myanmar, including the Desire X and One X, featuring a Burmese-language virtual keyboard.

Chinese ICT giant Huawei, meanwhile, refers to itself as “the best selling brand in Myanmar” on a dedicated Facebook page.

Elsewhere, US tech giants Cisco and Google have already made their first moves in Myanmar and well they might.

An IDC report from last year predicted the country's ICT market would reach $268.45m (£172.9m) by 2016, with Myanmar emerging as a burgeoning offshore destination for manufacturing due to its low cost and young labour force.

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?