2010 was a boom year for the mobile phone industry in Malaysia, as consumers here snapped up over 24 percent more units of mobile phone; growing the overall value of the industry by 30 percent compared to the year before.
Smartphones were the key contributors to the industry’s good performance, with GfK Malaysia’s retail audit findings reflecting more than a two-fold growth of 208 percent in the number of units sold, and 150 percent increase in terms of value sales.
Since the beginning of the 2010, value sales of smartphones have been consistently increasing every month and occupied 72 percent of the overall pie by December. Overall, close to two in five (38%) mobile phone sets sold last year were smartphones.
“Greater mobility and the need to stay connected for work and play are some of the reasons for the rising trend of smartphone ownership,” commented Ms Jennifer Chan, General Manager of
GfK Malaysia. “Besides the wide range of product offerings in the market which has resulted in rapidly declining prices, operators have also a role in spurring smartphone growth by attractively bundling smartphones with data plans, making it very cost effective for consumers.”
Consumers are also spoilt for choice when it comes to the various operating systems (OS) offered by phone makers. Although Symbian remained the market leader, much higher growths were reflected in the performances of Android, RIM and IPhone OS in 2010. Android phones in particular have risen substantially in popularity in the last 12 months, with more than one in five (22%) smartphones being sold today operating on the Android platform.
According to GfK findings, the average prices of smart phones are declining and models priced even lower than RM500 were made available in the market last year. However, over three-quarters of smartphones sold were those in the RM500 to RM1499 price range. In terms of contribution to overall sales, smartphones in this price range occupied 64 percent, with the bigger chunk of 38 percent contributed by sales of those costing over RM1000.
“Smartphone is definitely the future of the mobile phone industry. Today’s increasingly savvy consumers are demanding technologically advanced gadgets that come with more sophisticated features, and smartphones’ capability is limitless. We can expect the smartphone industry to continue its upward growth trend in the high double digits in 2011 and beyond,” concluded Ms Chan.