The Philippines is Now The Third Largest Smartphone Market in South East Asia, Says IDC

The Republic of the Philippines is now the third largest market for smartphones in the whole of South East Asia, ahead of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore; That's based on market data gathered by IDC for the entirety of 2014.

According to world's premiere market intelligence provider, "Smartphone shipments to the Philippines registered a healthy 76% growth year-over-year (YoY), with the surge being fuelled by budget offerings from local vendors. While feature phones still made up majority of the mobile phone market in 2014, the past months saw both local and international vendors increasingly shifting their focus toward smartphones. Prices of smartphones continue to drop as component prices drop and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are able to produce cheaper smartphones."

Philippines, Makati Business District, Philippines Smartphone Market
Philippines' Makati Business District doesn't sleep.

Mr. Jerome Dominguez - Market Analyst at IDC Philippines - shares, "The narrowing price gap between smartphones and feature phones made smartphones more palatable to budget-conscious Filipino consumers, leading to the faster adoption of smartphones in 2014 compared to previous years."

Sub Php 4,000 (US$90) smartphone models accounted for more than 58% of smartphone shipments to the country last year -- and many of which came from Pinoy handset companies. In fact, IDC discloses that three local smartphone vendors made it to the top 5 smartphone vendors in the Philippines (in unit shipment terms) in 2014. Cherry Mobile was the top smartphone vendor last year, while MyPhone and Torque ranked 3rd and 5th, respectively. (Samsung is #2 while Lenovo is at #4.)

Additionally, although most smartphone vendors grew in volume terms during the previous year, the local vendors are the ones that managed to gain market shares year-over-year. Looking at exact figures, local vendors grew from 49% in 2013 to 57% in 2014. Chinese vendors, interestingly enough, dropped slightly from 16% to 15% in 2014. Due to stronger competition from local and Chinese vendors last year, the share of global vendors like Samsung and Sony  also dropped from 35% to 28%.

"Catching up on the smartphone craze, the Philippines is now the third largest market for smartphones in Southeast Asia, coming after Indonesia and Thailand," adds Dominguez.

In line with all these, the Philippines has also managed to become the fourth country in Southeast Asia to ship more smartphones than feature phones, trailing Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The 3rd quarter of 2014 was the very first time in the Philippine market where smartphone shipments finally surpassed those of feature phones, marking the onset and perhaps the unstoppable rise of a new era. [source]