Nine out of 10 smartphones sold in the Philippines are running on the Android operating system, according to the latest report of consumer research firm GfK.
The 91-percent penetration rate of Android in the Philippines is the highest in the six Southeast Asian countries covered by the survey.
Overall, Android had a 72-percent market share across six of the Southeast Asia markets — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
The Android platform is most widespread in Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore where the operating system now makes up 91, 83 and 81 percent of total smartphone sales in the respective countries.
In Indonesia, proportion of Android smartphones sales jumped by 23 percent within a year, from 37 to the current 60 percent.
The ongoing trend of upgrading from basic mobile phones to smartphones has further deepened smartphone penetration in the region and driving robust sales of the popular gadget.
In the first three quarters of this year, consumers from in the region have spent $10.8 billion on nearly 41.5 million units of smartphones.
Among these seven individual markets tracked, Indonesia has the greatest smartphone sales volume and value. Since the beginning of this year, Indonesian consumers have already bought 14.8 million smartphones worth over $3.33 billion.
Thailand and Malaysia are countries with the next highest smartphone sales volume with 7.2 million and 6.4 million units sold respectively.
However, in terms of smartphone sales revenue, the ranking of these two countries are switched with Malaysia garnering $2.25 million while Thailand raked in $1.96 million in the January to September 2013.
“The increasing affordability of smartphones, particularly in the developing markets is helping many consumers in these countries make the switch from their basic feature phones to own their very first smartphone,” highlighted Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia.
“It is worth highlighting the significant milestone of September being the month whereby sales penetration reached the halfway mark; where one in every two mobile handsets purchased in the region is now a smartphone.”
According to GfK findings comparing January to September in 2013 to 2012, fastest growing market for smartphones were Vietnam and Thailand, both of which reported more than twofold surge, by 156 and 118 percent respectively in volume, and 113 and 114 percent in value.
A smartphone feature that is rising in prevalence is larger screen sizes. For instance, 4 inch and above smartphones which used to occupy 13 percent of the total sales last year has more than doubled its share. In the first nine months of this year, one in four (27 percent) smartphones sold has a screen size of at least 4 inches.
“The latest trend in the market now is phablets, which is defined as mobile devices with cellular voice phone functionality and a display between 5.6 inch and 6.99 inch,” said Tan.
“Launched only recently around mid-2013, over 460,000 have already been sold and we will likely see greater take-up as more models enter market,” noted Tan.
“The substantial 50 percent of feature phone buyers in Southeast Asia who has yet to convert to using smartphone presents much potential still for manufacturers, and we predict a continued uptrend and exponential growth in the smartphone market in this region,” concluded Tan.