According to the latest statistics released by research firm GfK, Malaysian consumers bought an astonishing 8.5 million smartphones from January to December 2014 – the tenth consecutive year Malaysia has recorded positive growth.
GfK’s report provided plenty of interesting insights into the Malaysian smartphone consumer in 2014. The catalyst for the increase in smartphone sales were, unsurprisingly, due to the introduction of new brands offering highly-competitive products at aggressive prices. There was no shortage of new players in the Malaysian smartphone industry, with the influx of Chinese smartphone companies such as Xiaomi, Honor and Oppo – not to mention Taiwan’s Asus – all bringing their exciting product portfolios into Malaysia.
In fact, these companies’ products – which mainly serve the sub-$200 (about RM715) market such as those featured in our Budget Android Battle – caused a spike in the sales of smartphones in this area from 10% in 2013 to 16% in 2014, which makes this the biggest segment in the Malaysian market. In addition, the rise in popularity for smartphones in this price range also reduced the average selling price of smartphones from RM1,106 in 2013 to RM1,031 in 2014.
The above statistic also tallies with this surprising bit of data: despite the increase in smartphone sales, the total consumer expenditure dropped by 4%.
Further, the rise in LTE infrastructure throughout the country also resulted in a surge in sales of LTE-enabled smartphones in Malaysia. In 2014, 29% of all smartphones sold in the country supports LTE – compared to about 17% in 2013.
Finally, if there’s any further need to show just how big of an impact the presence of Chinese smartphone companies in Malaysia had, it’s this: 90% of all smartphones sold in Malaysia ran on Android, jumping 5% from 2013. According to GfK, a staggering 40 out of 59 smartphone brands in Malaysia used Android to power its products.
Huawei’s Honor 6 supports LTE Cat 6, a standard that isn’t even offered by any network operator in Malaysia
GfK’s report provides plenty of interesting statistics about Malaysian consumers’ behaviour in smartphone purchases. It is widely expected that the trend will continue in 2015, with even more fierce competition in the mid-range market, with older companies such as Samsung, Sony and HTC attempt to thwart the staggering rise of the Chinese smartphone players. This just means even better news for the Malaysian consumer, who now not only has more choice, but also safe in the knowledge that they are getting even more value for their money.