Photo - Jensen Ooi, Market Analyst for Client Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific.
Despite the introduction of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and the weakening Ringgit, Malaysia's smartphone and tablet market has not been negatively impacted in 2015H1, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
Speaking of IDC Asia/Pacific's quarterly Mobile Phone and Tablet Trackers, Jensen Ooi, market analyst for client devices in IDC Asia/Pacific, said that a total of 4.8 million units of smartphones and 0.9 million units of tablets were shipped in 2015H1 in Malaysia.
Smartphones and tablets actually grew by 42 percent and 15 percent respectively, compared with 2014H1, said Ooi, adding that the smartphone market continued to be dominated by China and Taiwan vendors, while the tablet space was dominated by global vendors.
"It was an especially challenging time for the retail channels in the first half of the year due to the weak market sentiments caused by multiple macroeconomic factors in Malaysia such as implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), weakening ringgit against the U.S. dollar, and some political concerns," he said.
"The catalyst of growth of smartphones was the large number of smartphones made affordable at less than RM500, bundled with SIM packs from local operators. It was a similar case for tablets as well as with devices priced at less than RM300," said Ooi.
Android phone flagships paled
Ooi said that apart from Apple's iPhone, shipments of Android flagship smartphones "paled tremendously in comparison with previous years. Android handsets from China and Taiwan maintained their competitive edge with affordable price points that appealed to the target local market."
However, Samsung remained as the market leader in Malaysia market, recovering from a dip in 2014H2, he said, attributing growth to the company's Galaxy J series and Galaxy V model while the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge did not move so well in the local market.
Meanwhile, Asus remained firm as one of the top five vendors with highest shipments - mostly contributed by ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 2. The latter was one of its best sellers; however, the 4GB variant ran on a limited supply.
Apple's iPhone 6 continued to remain popular due to its larger screen size compared with that of its previous versions, he said.
Ooi said that Lenovo picked up in 2015Q2 as it bundled its low-end model, the A319, with local operator SIM packs sold at an affordable price.
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