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! ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
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
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.