16 Feb 2017
KUALA LUMPUR, 17th Feb 2017 - According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, total smartphone shipments in Malaysia recorded approximately 2.7 million units in 2016Q4, bringing 2016 to a close with approximately 8.8 million units shipped, a reported 5.9% decline year-over-year (YoY).
The YoY smartphone shipment slowdown was caused by various negative economic factors. However, smartphone shipments still recorded activity as it was driven by consumers’ need to upgrade their phones to better ones that come with higher specifications such as larger memory size, battery capacity, camera quality, etc. Meanwhile, vendors and resellers experienced minor setbacks as their profits were squeezed, mainly due to the weakening Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) against the greenback combined with other rising costs.
“The market situation led local resellers to opt to upsell brands that not only have better margins, but have become popular with consumers, mainly Samsung and China brands such as Huawei, OPPO, and vivo. Budget- and brand-conscious consumers are increasingly opting for brands that have become globally renowned via aggressive marketing initiatives and well-built devices,” says Jensen Ooi, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific.
In 2017, IDC expects vendors will streamline their model lineups, particularly the large vendors, as they attempt to move toward midrange/high-end devices to better manage their resources and stay relevant in the market. Meanwhile, low-end devices catered to the budget-conscious consumers will mainly be supplied by either operator brands or lesser known brands. The prices of each new generation of smartphone released will also be higher compared with the last due to new features and the currency impact, which is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
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