Smartphones drive Thai Q4 mobile phone market

Entry-level smartphones growing at expense of high-end feature phones in Thailand as feature phone market reaches saturation point, says IDC.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

For the final three months of 2011, the mobile phone market in Thailand grows 6 percent quarter-on-quarter, achieving an "impressive" 20 percent yearly growth, says IDC.

In a report Thursday, the research firm noted that smartphones were the "driving force" behind Thailand's mobile phone market. Smartphone shipments grew 66 percent sequentially to make up almost one-fourth of the total mobile phone market in the fourth quarter of 2011, it added.

Jarit Sidhu, associate market analyst for client devices research at IDC Thailand, added: "Although severely affected by the floods in October and November, demand for mobile phones sprung up again immediately after the situation improved. The demand for entry-level smartphones in the fourth quarter helped spur the total mobile phone market in 2011 to an annual growth of 19 percent."


Credit: IDC

The quarter also marked the first time smartphone shipments exceeded one million units in a single quarter in Thailand. In 2011, the smartphone market in Thailand grew 200 percent compared with the previous year, while the feature phone market grew 10 percent year-on-year.

"The high growth of smartphones in 2011 was the result of vendors offering a larger variety of devices at different price points to address different consumer demands. IDC expects the momentum to continue in the coming years as improvements in devices and wider coverage of 3G services will stimulate further demand for smartphones," Jarit said.

Looking forward, IDC said smartphone shipment in Thailand was expected to grow more than 50 percent this year while feature phone shipments were expected to grow only at a single-digit percentage rate.

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