Smartphones to account for 50% of cellphone market in Phl
By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) Updated September 03, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – Research firm IHS sees smartphones accounting for more than half of cellphone shipments next year as Filipinos bought five times as many smartphones in the first five months this year.
IHS said smartphones are expected to account for about 54 percent of the total cellphone market next year or about two years earlier than previous prediction of 2015.
IHS senior analyst for wireless communications Wayne Lam cited the declining smartphone prices in the past year and growth in the variety of models available.
“This has spurred sales of both low-end smartphones in regions like Asia Pacific, as well as midrange to high-end phones in the United States and Europe,”Lam stressed.
The firm forecasts double-digit growth in smartphone shipments and would account for 67.4 percent of the overall sales by 2016.
In the Philippines, GfK Philippines said the increasing affordability of smartphones has been propelling the strong growth of the sector, rendering the country as one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the Southeast Asian region.
The GfK report showed that consumers bought five times as many smartphones in the first five months of this year compared to a year ago, bringing smartphone sales to almost 1.7 million units as of May this year.
For one, Lenovo Mobile announced it would start to phase out feature phones in the Philippines by the end of this year due to the strong demand for more affordable smartphones.
Open Communications business unit head John Rojo said the exclusive distributor of Lenovo Mobile in the Philippines would no longer carry feature phones in the last quarter of the year.
“We won’t be carrying any feature phone by the last quarter of the year. Smartphone is going to be our focus. If you notice the cost of the smartphone is getting cheaper,” Rojo told reporters.
Lenovo Mobile hopes to grab a five percent market share in the smartphone market in the Philippines with the launch the A60+, an improved model of Lenovo’s entry-level device worth P4,999 and the S880, a five-inch screen “phablet” that combines the telephone, entertainment, and business functions of the smartphone worth P14,999.
Dillon Ye, executive director for rest of world business operations of Lenovo Mobile, said in an interview with reporters that the company is bullish about the prospects of its business operations in the Philippines.
“With the strong acceptance of the market with our previous smartphone models, we have gained confidence that our new models will further propel Lenovo as a highly competitive smartphone manufacturer,” Ye stressed.