Smartphone Demand Rises in Southeast Asia and East Asia: 3.29 Million Smartphones Worth over USD1.26 Billion Expected to be Sold by Q4 2010

TechPinas Exclusive Report:

Results of a recent research conducted by GfK Asia Pte Ltd show that the Philippines and whole SouthEast and East Asia continue to be a flourishing market for smartphones with 3.29 Million units expected to be sold in the region by the end of this year.

Read the full press release courtesy of Rome Lopez of GfK Asia Pte. Ltd. (Philippines):

July 7, 2010, SINGAPORE – Over one in 10 handphone sets purchased by consumers in
Southeast Asia and East Asia in the last quarter (Jan-Mar10) was a smartphone
, and judging by the upward trend that has been consistently showing across the markets in the region, it appears that smartphones will soon be a common commodity widely owned not just by the affluent.

Within a span of one year, combined smartphone sales in these two regions jumped two-fold, from 16.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009 to over 36.6 percent in the same period the following year, indicating that smartphones are becoming increasingly affordable and progressively making up a larger percentage of all mobile devices purchased by consumers in these regions.



GfK Asia’s retail audit reports showed that the total number of smartphones bought by consumers
in East Asia and Southeast Asia in the last quarter increased 68.6 and 31.4 percent respectively
compared to the previous quarter. In East Asia alone, smartphone sales contributed 16.8 percent
to the total mobile device sales pie in the first three months of this year, registering a healthy growth of 6 percentage points from the previous quarter (Oct-Dec09). A growth of 2.3 percentage points was also recorded for Southeast Asia quarter on quarter.

“Network Service Providers in Asia have started offering affordable 3G data services and
bundling such services with smartphones. Together with global manufacturers' introduction of
more affordable mobile devices and their efforts to build a holistic mobile ecosystem, such as
launching more application stores, lifestyle features, and service integration, it is no surprise that the growth of mobile device sales in this region have largely been driven by the wider consumer acceptance of smartphones,”
commented Mr. Gerard Tan, Regional Account Director for Telecommunications, GfK Asia.

Among the markets surveyed, Malaysia recorded the highest jump in smartphone sales
contribution to the country’s overall mobile phone pie. Compared to the same period last year,
smartphone sales here grew by a whopping 36.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to hit 55.2
percent. The total value of smartphones sold in the country has now surpassed that of non-
smartphones.

“Malaysia’s strong growth can be partially attributed to the government's recently announced tax
relief of up to RM500 a year off subscription fees for broadband registration. The initiative has been successful in encouraging stronger take-up of mobile broadband services and
consequentially leading to higher ownership of smartphones,” observed Mr Tan.

Thailand, on the other hand, is the country which registered the lowest acceptance level when it
comes to smartphone. Out of the overall mobile phone sales pie, only close to a fifth (19.3%) was contributed by smartphones, although this is an improvement of 10.4 percent when compared to
the previous year. The market in the region which recorded the highest smartphone take-up is
Hong Kong, where smartphone sales contribution occupied over three-fifths (61.3%) of the overall
pie.



Going by the upcoming new smartphone launches in the pipeline by major manufacturers
worldwide, the smartphone marketplace is deemed to be highly-competitive in the months ahead.
“GfK Asia expects the smartphone phenomenon to continue for the rest of 2010. With the recent
launch of Samsung Galaxy S, as well as the impending launches of Apple's iPhone 4, Nokia N8, and Sony Ericsson X8 in the later part of 2010, the strong growth momentum of smartphone in the region will sustain, if not escalate further for the rest of the year," said Mr Tan.

“Ultimately, manufacturers need to have a great knowledge and understanding of consumer
trends and purchase preferences within each unique market in order to succeed. The
manufacturer who can best understand the needs and wants of the consumer amidst all the
myriad of existing offerings in the market would have a higher chance of success,”
concluded Mr
Tan.

About GfK Retail Panel
The GfK Retail Panel is a regular survey monitoring sales of specific products and product
categories, using a range of Internet, retail outlets and companies to provide trade and industry highly accurate and up-to-date information on various segments of the market, including technical consumer equipment, optics, and automotive.

About GfK Asia Pte Ltd
A part of the global GfK Group, GfK Asia has over 25 years of experience providing reliable retail and technology market data in Asia. Our analysts track a broad range of consumer products, including technical consumer equipment, optics, automotive, and gaming software. GfK Asia covers more than 160 products and over 918,000 models, collecting monthly data from over
8,000 specialist / independent shops as well as over 560 organized retailers with approximately
15,000 outlets. Based in Singapore, GfK Asia offers extensive coverage of Singapore, Malaysia,
Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, The Philippines, and India.

The GfK Group
The GfK Group offers the fundamental knowledge that industry, retailers, services companies and
the media need to make market decisions. It delivers a comprehensive range of information and
consultancy services in the three business sectors Custom Research, Retail and Technology and
Media. The No. 4 market research organization worldwide operates in more than 100 countries
and employs over 10,000 staff. In 2009, the GfK Group’s sales amounted to EUR 1.16 billion. For
further information, visit our website: gfk.com. Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/gfk_group.

Notes:
*Southeast Asia: Six markets surveyed are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam,
and the Philippines
**East Asia: Three markets surveyed are Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan.
***Survey period – January to March 2010 vs January to March 2009, January to March 2010 vs
October to December 2009.


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