In recent studies done by GfK, it seems that handset manufacturers are doing a pretty good job so far in keeping price-conscious Juan engaged with their competitive smartphone offerings.
GfK Philippines has conducted a study that revealed a substantial growth in the mobile phone industry as compared to the previous year.
In the first five months of this year alone, there were 5.5 million phones was sold that amounts to $606.5 million in just the first five months of this year with a third of that total volume (1.7 million) and two-thirds of the total market value (over $400M) are attributed to smartphones.
In the past, only a privileged few has the luxury to own a smartphone. But due to the 23% decrease in average smartphone prices this year (From $317 to $244), more and more of our fellow countrymen are now enticed to own at least one smartphone.
This significant decrease in smartphone price is more evident in Davao and Mindanao with a 35% and 43% price drop respectively. The substantial price reduction seemed to have sparked a smartphone frenzy in Visayas and Mindanao which led to a 500%
increase in market value and a whopping 800% growth in units sold as compared to last year.
But even with this humongous increase in value and volume in Visayas and Mindanao, Manila still holds the big chunk of the market amounting to 57% in dollar shares. This is mainly because more than half of the smartphones that are offered in Manila are being sold.
The telcos also plays a key role in the rapid growth of the smartphone industry through their marketing strategies and promotions. Along with the telcos, retailers also played a big role in this rampant increase in smartphone sales (value and volume) by offering tempting discounts and flexible payment terms.
These factors led to a 408% increase in smartphones demand.
Although we are a bit skeptical with the results of this survey, we acknowledge the growing trend of smartphones in the Philippines.
- The Samsung Galaxy Y was a huge hit. Samsung must have sold hundreds of thousands of units from last year. Telcos ran out of stocks, and retail stores were jacking up the prices due to high demand. Samsung followed-thru with similar low-priced Android phones.
- Smart was pushing the Netphone while Globe was aggressively pushing their own Cloudfone, both running Android and being offered free under Php500 a month plans.
- Cheaper BB plans drive more BlackBerry users. The Curve 8520 was last year’s most popular smartphone in the Philippines.
- New entry-level players in the smartphone market — Cherry Mobile, Torque, Alcatel and even Lenovo are into the affordable smartphone market as well.
Still, we’re surprised that over 1.7 million smartphones have been sold in the Philippines from January to May of this year alone. That’s 1 smartphone in every 3 phones sold in the country.
Editor’s Note: Original reporting by Ron with additional commentaries by Abe.