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Malaysia Smartphone and Tablet Market Remains Firm

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.


A total of 4.8 million smartphones and 0.9 million tablets were shipped in 2015H1 in Malaysia, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Smartphones and tablets grew by 42% and 15% respectively, compared with 2014H1.

The smartphone market continues to be dominated by China and Taiwan vendors, while the tablet space remains 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. 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 Jensen Ooi, market analyst for client devices in IDC Asia/Pacific.

Smartphone Market Highlights

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.

  • Samsung remained as the market leader in Malaysia market, recovering from a dip in 2014H2. Its growth was attributed to its Galaxy J series and Galaxy V model. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge did not move so well in the local market.
  • Asus remained strong as one of the top 5 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.
  • Lenovo picked up only in 2015Q2 as it bundled its low-end model, the A319, with local operator SIM packs sold at an affordable price. The A7000 model was sold exclusively via an online retail channel, and although it did not have a significant contribution to overall growth, it was a stepping stone for further expansion.
  • Huawei has been able to stay competitive with high unit shipments because of its Honor series.

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Tags: Malaysia