The units sold in the first three months of this year are said to be worth $2.4 bn, with smartphone demand spikes ranging from 40-400% throughout Southeast Asia, according to GFK Retail and Technology Asia.
The Philippines experienced the highest growth in the smartphone market while Indonesia currently has the largest smartphone market in Southeast Asia.
"The largest smartphone market in this region expectedly is Indonesia which has a smartphone penetration rate of 62 percent and enjoyed sales exceeding USD1.4 billion last quarter," said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology at GfK Asia. "Meanwhile, the markets with deepest smartphone penetration are Malaysia and Singapore where levels have already reached a high of 88 percent, translating to almost nine out of every ten in the general population being a smartphone user."
According to GfK findings, there is an increasing consumer preference for touch only devices across the region, representing 71% of smartphones bought which is a significant leap from last year's 47%.
A large majority in Southeast Asia still do not own a mobile phone but Tan predicts that smartphone sales will continue to grow over the next few years.
"The relatively stable prices of smartphones averaging around USD 309 in the region will continue to drive the industry's strong growth momentum," said Tan. "In developing Southeast Asia where smartphone penetration is still nowhere near saturation levels, we can be sure that the current sales spurt will carry on for at least the next few years. With much of the populace still not owning a mobile phone, there is no better place for global mobile phone brands to focus their sales and marketing efforts."
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