IDC says PH among price-sensitive smartphone markets in Asia-Pacific

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

A local mobile brand is still the market leader in the Philippine mobile phone market despite the aggressive efforts of other players to get a bigger share of the market pie.

Jensen Ooi, senior market analyst for client division services at IDC Asia Pacific

In its “Changing Device Usage Habits of Filipinos will Fuel Growth of Smartphones and PCs in 2018,” research firm IDC reported that Cherry Mobile emerged as the market leader with a 23-percent market share followed by Korean brand Samsung (17 percent) and Chinese brand Oppo (12 percent).

Vivo and Asus were the two brands that made it to the top five with 8 and 5-percent market share, respectively.

Jensen Ooi, senior market analyst for client division services at IDC Asia Pacific, said in a press briefing that the key to Cherry Mobile’s dominance in the local market is its focus in the provinces in marketing their products.

“Cherry Mobile’s affordable smartphone models below the P5, 000-level was a sure hit among Filipinos in the provinces,” he said.

“The marketing people of Cherry Mobile know the situations on the ground. They can develop market presence whenever the situation calls for it. For instance, if a town is celebrating its fiesta, Cherry Mobile is going to be present,” added Jubert Daniel Alberto, head of operations at IDC Philippines.

Ooi added demand for 4G smartphones also grew by 54 percent. Being a price-sensitive market, he pointed out that ultra low-end smartphones dominated the market with 59-percent share, while low-end and mid-range smartphones made up 35-percent of the market.

He mentioned that Samsung and the Chinese brands such as Oppo and Vivo were major factors behind the growth of the low-end and midrange segments in 2017.

“Heavy marketing campaigns and lucrative sales promoter incentives enabled these brands to strengthen their mindshare in the local market, increase their shipments, and grow their respective market shares,” said Ooi.

“The assault of these brands affected the sales of some of the players, resulting in them reducing their supplies, which ultimately impacted overall smartphone shipments.”

He also noted that in the local smartphone market, end-users are shifting to handsets with higher specs and better features.

IDC reported the Philippines continues and remains to be among the price-sensitive markets in Asia-Pacific.

Nevertheless, the average selling price of smartphones in 2017 grew to $134, a 13% YoY increase. Ultra low-end smartphones (<$100) still hold the lion's share of the market, accounting for 59% of all smartphones in 2017 compared with 67% in 2016. Meanwhile the combined share of low-end ($100<$200) and midrange ($200<$400) smartphones grew to 35% from 28% in 2016.

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