In 2014 nearly 10 million units of smart devices were shipped into Malaysia with smartphones outnumbering tablets by a ratio of nearly four to one, revealed market research firm IDC.
Samsung continues to dominate the Malaysian smart device smartphone market with a 30% market share in 2014 continued by Lenovo at 17%, Asus at 9%, Oppo at 7% and Apple at 7%. IDC told MalaysianWireless that Apple’s iPhone, Taiwanese smartphone makers such as Asus and Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi are expected to increase their market share in Malaysia this year.
The price of smartphones are expected to increase this year due to weakening Ringgit against the US dollar and the implementation of the 6% GST (Goods and Services Tax) according to Jensen Ooi, market analyst for client devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. However he said there won’t be much impact of smartphone sales. “In 2015, growth in the smartphone and tablet market remains positive despite the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Driven by demand, smartphones will remain the dominant smart device with a forecast growth of 27% while tablets will grow by 3% in Malaysia,”
Jensen also said that Malaysians takes an average two years to change smartphones.
According to IDC Asia/Pacific Mobile Phone Tracker 2014Q4 and IDC Asia/Pacific Tablet Tracker 2014Q4, consumers’ usage patterns and hardware demand have bolstered robust growth of 40% year-over-year (YoY) for smartphones while tablets which were at healthy levels in 2013 declined by 5.4% YoY.
Results from both trackers showed:-
- The market situation in Malaysia has experienced a change with several Chinese and global vendors coming in to play with aggressive price points and acceptable specifications, knocking off some of the local vendors.
- The total amount of smartphones sold below US$250 (estimate RM908) doubled since 2013.
- Smartphones with screen sizes between 4” – 5.5” also doubled as Malaysians have started to appreciate the benefits of having a bigger screen for daily use.
- In line with the rising popularity of reading from a bigger screen size, phablets (5.6″ – 6.9″) have caught on as well with a growth of 68% YoY.
In terms of tablet market share in Malaysia, Samsung has a 39% market share, followed by Apple at 19%, Asus & Lenovo each at 12%, Acer at 3%.
“It is apparent that there has been a change in what Malaysians want when it comes to smart devices. While maintaining a budget-conscious mindset, Malaysians want to remain connected and at the same time seek for devices that provide them a certain level of viewing and holding comfort when in use. These devices do not necessarily have to be high-end devices but just need to be good enough to support their various needs such as web browsing, messaging, gaming and watching videos,” said Ooi.
IDC said it is very likely that smart devices will continue to grow in the next few years. Malaysians are becoming more connected and aware of their various needs when purchasing devices. IDC foresees more vendors appearing in the market, both local and foreign as vendors try to further leverage on the consumer demand.
In terms of wearables, IDC believes early adopters of these technologies will remain the only adopters for the time being. It said most wearables are still designed with the consumer very much in mind. However, while products such as fitness bands and smartwatches are commonly available, these wearables are not widely used as there are doubts over the value it bring.
IDC says that wearable may have a better future in the Enterprise environment.
“There are a number of reasons why we’re seeing more and more consumer wearables entering the enterprise sphere. Besides the lower costs of producing white labeled accessories, the variety of products is also increasing. More importantly, these products are improving on functionalities and capabilities and gaining more visibility along the way,” said Daniel Pang, Senior Research Manager, ASEAN Client Devices, IDC Malaysia.
Pang continued, “IDC also expects to see greater adoption of band, watch and glass solutions by retailers, hospitals, insurance companies and large equipment manufacturers as more solutions are developed. Solid business cases for deploying wearables in enterprise environments now exist, and as competition grows in this space, there are definitely going to be exciting solutions in the pipeline.”
Commenting on GST, IDC said that PCs will likely be the most impacted among all devices. “Commercial PC spending on PCs will likely slowdown for at least two quarters as companies adjust to the new scheme, while consumers may advance their PC purchasing in order to not pay more once GST takes effect” it said.