Samsung Still Reigns Supreme In SEA, But OPPO, Vivo catching up

Competitors are closing in

International Data Corporation (IDC) has published their latest findings on the smartphone business, and while Samsung still rules the roost in Southeast Asia, two of their Chinese competitors are gaining ground, fast. 

Samsung managed to ship around 29.3 million phones last year, which gave them a bump in marketshare from 23% in 2016 to 29.1% in 2017. Chinese brand OPPO also posted good growth YoY, shipping 17.2 million phones in 2017 compared to 13.3 million in 2016. They managed to grab around 17% percent of the marketshare in SEA. 

The biggest jump though is with Chinese company Vivo, which shipped 7.2 million phones in 2017 from 3.3 million in 2016, which marks a YoY change of 118.2%. While that jump is to be expected as Vivo is currently expanding their reach in SEA (and is the youngest player in the top 5) it’s still pretty impressive. The 7.2% marketshare for 2017 doesn’t hurt as well.

In fourth place is Huawei, which posted 5.4 million phones shipped for a total 2017 marketshare of 5.4%. Apple had their marketshare contract to just 4.4% compared to 4.5% a year earlier, and many vendors not included in the top 5 had their market shares contract substantially. 

As for user preferences, demand for 4G smartphones rose, growing to 44%. 4G smartphones now make up 81% (81.1 million units) of the total market versus 2016 when it was 56% (56.2 million units). Phablet shipments also rose significantly and devices that had screens between 5.5-inches to 5.7-inches were in high demand, with the segment growing 71% YoY.

“In 2018, local vendors will continue to feel the impact as end-users gradually shift their preference to more popular brands and are more willing to invest in their upgrade to larger screen midrange smartphones. Most would soon be equipped with enticing features such as dual cameras, thin bezels, on-device Artificial Intelligence (AI) and so on. To stay competitive, we expect the local vendors to ship smartphones with some of these features as well and introduce devices that come with Android Oreo ‘Go edition’ while keeping the price affordable at <USD$200 to suit the budget requirements of their local target segments,” says Jensen Ooi, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC ASEAN.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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