Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing market for smartphones, according to market research firm Canalys.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing market for smartphones, experienced a 17 percent growth from 2017 to 2018, according to market research firm Canalys.

“The smartphone market in Indonesia is the best in Southeast Asia,” said Yudistira Nugroho, a senior industry analyst at Tech & Telco Google Indonesia in Jakarta, Wednesday (05/8), adding that the archipelago is the rising star of the region’s smartphone market, according to Canalys.

In comparison, the report also made by Canalys said that Thailand’s smartphone market actually fell 13 percent, in the quarter IV-2018 period.

He noted the smartphone market in Indonesia grew 20 percent throughout the year, spurred by its people’s lifestyles and a growing economy. Indonesians who earn more money tend to focus on tertiary needs instead of primary and secondary needs, he added.

He mentioned that according to a recent survey on smartphone search behavior during Ramadan, flagship smartphones were found to be the most-searched items when Idul Fitri holiday bonuses are paid. “The growth of flagship smartphones is higher than mid- or low-[end] smartphones,” he said.

Another reason behind the growth was the rise of smartphone brands, either new or old, that keep innovating with new features. However, Nugroho said that 55 percent of prospective buyers were confused by the current proliferation of brands and designs.

Additionally, the survey said that 69 percent of buyers prefer to purchase smartphones from offline stores as they needed to experience the product first before buying it. However, based on a Google survey, online purchases have grown rapidly and reached 30 percent in 2018. “Thirty percent is [a big number],” he said. “The growth can be considered as double from 2017 to 2019.”

But, globally, the condition of smartphone sales still hasn’t shown its passion. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) report, sales of smartphones in the first quarter (Q1) 2019 fell 6.6 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

According to IDC’s report, there are 310.8 million units of smartphones shipped in Q1 this year. This number decreased by more than 20 million units from Q1 2018, at which time the mobile market in the world managed to ship as many as 332.7 million smartphone units.

In the first quarter of 2019, Samsung still leads with the largest market share, which is around 23.1 percent of the global smartphone market. However, this number also decreased by around 8.1 percent from last year’s Q1 2018.

With 71.9 million smartphone shipments, Samsung remains at the forefront. Samsung grossed nearly a quarter of the market, but the Korean company’s quarterly profits fell 60 percent.

But Samsung’s decline was due to weaker sales of chip components, while the newly introduced Galaxy S10 earlier this year was well received from the market.

Besides Samsung, Apple also experienced the same conditions, even worse. The number of iPhone sales in Q1 2019 fell 30.2 percent. Apple only reached 36.4 million units of iPhone sales, differing considerably compared to Q1 2018 where the company led by Tim Cook managed to sell 52.2 million units of the iPhone within three months.

Different conditions actually occur in smartphone vendors from China, Huawei. Despite being attacked by various data security and privacy issues by the United States government, Huawei managed to record positive performance in Q1 2019.

In the first three months of 2019, Huawei recorded a number of shipments which increased 50 percent compared to the same period the previous year. As many as 59.1 million units of smartphones were shipped by Huawei and made the company overtake Apple in second place with a market share of 19 percent.

From the IDC report, it appears that vendors from China still dominate the top five with the largest market share in the world. In the fourth to sixth position, it is occupied consecutively by Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo.

Of the three, only Vivo recorded positive numbers in the first quarter. Vivo managed to boost the number of shipments by 24 percent from 18.7 million in Q1 2018, to 23.2 million units in Q1 2019.

While Xiaomi and Oppo have decreased with significant numbers. Xiaomi’s number of shipments fell 10.2 percent, where last year Xiaomi managed to ship 27.8 million smartphone units, to 25 million units. Then Oppo fell by 6 percent from 24.6 million smartphone units in Q1 2018 to 23.1 million units in Q1 2019.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com