Feeds

Half of all mobes sold in South-East Asia are now smart

That's another 350m people coming online

The essential guide to IT transformation

Over half of all mobile phones sold in south-east Asia are now smartphones, as punters trade their feature phones in for low-cost, mainly Android-based handsets, in ever greater numbers this year.

In the first three months of 2013 alone consumers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines spent USD10.8 billion (£6.6bn) on almost 41.5 million smartphone units, according to market watcher GfK.

This volume figure represents an impressive 61 per cent jump from the same period in 2012, proving momentum is accelerating.

The trend of users swapping their old feature phones for cheap smartphones is of course happening across the globe, albeit at different rates of change.

In fact, back in March IDC predicted 2013 to be the year when global sales of smartphones outpaced that of feature phones for the first time to reach 50.1 per cent of the market, with China leading the way in sales and India showing the fastest growth.

In terms of the SE Asia region, it is Vietnam (156 per cent) and Thailand (118 per cent) which grew the fastest in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

However, Indonesia remains the regional leader in terms of value and volume sales, with user there already this year having bought 14.8 million smartphones worth over USD3.33 billion (£2bn).

In terms of platforms Android is once again the major beneficiary, taking an impressive 72 per cent chunk of the market regionally, with users in the Philippines (91 per cent), Malaysia (83 per cent) and Singapore (81 per cent) particularly enamoured with the Google-backed OS.

This is good news for the Chocolate Factory, which reaps little reward for its huge smartphone market share in China because handsets there are usually stripped of their Googliness while third party app stores dominate.

Like them or loathe them, phablets seem to be here to stay too – or at least in SE Asia – with 27 per cent of smartphones sold in the first nine months of 2013 having a screen size of 4in or above, according to GfK.

“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 market,” noted Digital Technology account director Gerard Tan.

The trend for smartphone uptake is set to increase exponentially in the months and years to come as the other half of southeast Asia's consumers ditch their clunky old handsets, he added.

The nations named in this report are home to over 350m people. Indonesia already has more than one SIM per person. Other nations aren't far behind. Clearly this mobile internet thing and the changes it brings are going to b big! ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?