In South East Asia mobile phone sales have increased by 24 percent in the last 12 months, with consumers spending an estimated $13.7 billion on 118 million units in the region. Most notably, smartphone sales increased by 78 percent this year, and now account for 61 percent of all mobile phone sales, according to a new report by market research group GfK Asia.
Smartphones and Feature Phones
The data—collected from Indonesia, the Phillipines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malayasia between July 2011 and June 2012— revealed that feature phone sales increased by 12 percent year-on-year. “Feature phones still reign as the more prevalent mobile phone type used by consumers in the region’s emerging markets,” said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology. “However, smartphones adoption is escalating at a rapid pace with individual country’s growth rates reported in the range of 42 to 326 percent.”
Indonesia, home to the world’s fourth largest population, is the region’s biggest smartphone market. Combined feature phone and smartphone sales grew by 26 percent, while the Phillipines saw an increase of 326 percent, becoming the fastest growing market in the region.
“Unlike the more developed countries like Singapore and Malaysia, smartphone sales penetration levels in some of the less developed markets such as Thailand and Vietnam are still relatively low, at 19 and 11 percent respectively, leaving a significant portion of the population still available for potential growth,” added Mr. Tan.
In smartphones and feature phones, content is king
South East Asian consumers spent nearly $9 billion on smartphones over the last year, the findings also noted that sales of smartphone devices priced between $100 and $200 were the bestsellers. For content professionals this news provides an excellent opportunity and exciting new venture.
Content professionals worldwide, but more specifically based in South East Asia, should take note of this dramatic rise in smartphone and feature phone sales in the region. Smartphones require content, as do feature phones. Both have usability, design, application and production requirements. Each of these elements are led by content.
Targeting your Content in the South East Asia Mobile Market
Producers of content fluent in one or more of the languages in this region should begin developing more content for the market, or should seek to team up with other creative professionals for a joint venture. The potential for creating successful content that can be monetized is great while the market is in growth.
Additionally, western marketing professionals looking to expand their organization or product into the South East Asian market will benefit here by focusing their PR efforts on mobile advertising in the region.