Our Ringgit may be weak (it’s US$1 to RM4.3 according to Google at the time of writing), and GST may have punched a big hole in all our pockets, but it looks like the smartphone and tablet market is still growing strong. According to IDC’s report for 2015H1 in Malaysia, the smartphone and tablet market grew by 42% and 15% respectively compared to the same time last year.
While flagship smartphones and tablet seems to be the most popular devices people always talk about, the growth of the smartphone and tablet market in Malaysia is thanks to low-end and mid-range devices. According to the report, a total of 4.8 million units of smartphones and 0.9 million units of tablets were shipped for the first half of this year.
Samsung continues to be the market leader for both segments, but its growth is not from the devices you think. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge did not perform well in Malaysia, instead, Samsung’s growth, which helped it recover from a dip on 2014H2, is mostly thanks to its Galaxy J series and Galaxy V models.
Taking second place is Asus with 14% market share for the smartphone market, thanks to the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 2. The latter was one of the company’s best sellers, but the highest-end 4GB RAM version “ran on limited supplies”. Apple takes third place thanks to the iPhone 6, which is doing well thanks to its larger screen size compared to previous versions.
Lenovo picked up in pace only in 2015Q2, but it is enough to put it at the third place thanks to its low-end smartphone – the A319. The device is available with prepaid packs from our local telcos, at a very affordable price and of course, zero contract. The A7000 also helped Lenovo’s sales.
Finally, taking the fifth place for the smartphone market in Malaysia for the first half of the year is Huawei, which has been able to stay competitive because of its Honor series.
As for the tablet market in Malaysia, the space remains dominated by global vendors like Samsung and Apple. Despite a dip in market share compared to the same period last year, Samsung remains as the top player thanks to its very affordable Galaxy Tab 3 Lite.
Lenovo and Apple ties at second place with 23% market share each. Lenovo’s growth is thanks to its very affordable Tab 2 A7-30, which is also available with a prepaid pack. Apple’s growth for the iPad is declining, but still remained strong in the high-end tablet segment.
Asus and Acer takes the last two place – Asus’ sales was driven by its affordable Fonepad 7, while Acer manage to grab 3% of the pie thanks to its low-end Iconia Tab A1-713, which is available with a prepaid plan.
Finally, according to IDC’s report, vendors and consumers in 2015 Q3 will feel the impact from the overall economy. They foresee a likelihood for an increase in price for most devices in the open market mainly due to the weak ringgit, and this could possibly trigger a delay for end users to upgrade or renew their existing devices. Despite that, IDC still expects that the overall shipments of smartphones and tablets in 2015 will surpass those in prior years.