The International Data Corporation (IDC) announced that Philippines’ smartphone market is experiencing the fastest growth in Southeast Asia for Q1. The country saw a 20% year-on-year growth in smartphone penetration and 3.5 million smartphones in total were shipped to stores in the Philippines since the beginning of 2016.
Philippines’ smartphone growth is largely due to strong support from telco operators; for instance, Apple’s shipment growth is partly because telcos offered attractive data and app bundles for iPhones
Philippines’ smartphone market paves way for competition
Currently, local phone brands such as MyPhone, Cherry Mobile and CloudFone are dominating the country’s smartphone market due to cheap prices of US$75 and below. However, as the IDC predicts Philippine’s smartphone market to grow by 25% this year, this paves way for foreign competition in the smartphone industry.
Competition would mostly be coming from China as vendors such as Oppo and Huawei are experiencing steady growth as they expand channel coverage. Global players such as Samsung are also aggressively targeting the cheaper smartphone market. The IDC comments that telco operators must be prepared for network congestion, as mobile data explosion is a likely consequence of high smartphone penetration.
Philippines’ ecommerce potential: What could this mean for the nation?
With Philippines’ mobile penetration growing at a rapid speed, it suggests that the nation is catching up with the rest of the region.
Philippines’ increasing consumer demand could bring a wealth of opportunities; as mobile penetration increases, it could introduce new opportunities with mobile commerce and e-payment systems.
As content consumption increases, so has online payment initiatives. Only 3% of the nation has access to credit cards, which leaves room for online payment players to dominate the market. Telco companies should monitor the price of mobile data in Philippines, however, as it remains one of the most expensive in Southeast Asia, which could potentially restrict the nation’s growth potential.
A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on June 18. Read the full article here.