Consumers across Southeast Asia’s six key markets snapped up nearly 97 million smartphone units worth an estimated $23 billion in 2019, representing a growth of 4% in sales value compared to 2018.
Research analyst GfK also said Southeast Asia’s smartphone sales volume continued to rise slightly by 1% in 2019 amid the 2% decline in global demand.
Malaysia and Singapore grew at the same rate for both smartphone sales value and volume at 13% and 11% respectively.
Meanwhile, Thailand recorded a significantly higher value over volume growth, at 13% versus 6%, while the Philippines’ growth stood at 5% in value and 3% in volume.
Only Vietnam and Indonesia reported negative growth in the single-digit range.
“Over the years, consumers in the region have always been showing keen interest when it comes to mobile handsets, with many owning more than one set or changing their smartphone frequently,” Alexander Dehmel, associate director at GfK said. “It should be highlighted that the higher value over volume growth recorded in the Southeast Asian smartphone market indicates that consumers are upgrading their devices—a trend that has been observed in recent years.”
Consumers’ fixation with their smartphones also stems from the fact that in many markets, the device has become an integral part of the shopper journey.
For instance, GfK’s latest FutureBuy report revealed that in Southeast Asia’s biggest market of Indonesia, over three-fifth (64%) of respondents agreed that their smartphone/tablet is their most important online shopping tool. In addition, more than half (58%) said they prefer to use their mobile device to pay for transactions—affirmation that smartphones are increasingly playing a more dominant role in consumers’ daily life.