In April this year, the International Data Corporation (IDC) released its research on the study on how the changing device usage habits of Filipinos fuel growth of smartphones this 2018. Based on IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, smartphone shipments declined 7% to approximately 15 million units in 2017 as intense competition from top brands resulted in some vendors being ousted from the market. This is showing a clear trend that has recently emerged in the Philippine smartphone market where end users are shifting to handsets with higher specs and better features.
From a screen size perspective, phablets (5.5”<7”) recorded significant growth in recent years, accounting for about a quarter of smartphone shipments in 2017. “As mobile content continues to grow, smartphones have become the primary device for basic productivity and everyday media consumption, and this fuels the need for larger screens and higher specs,” said Jensen Ooi, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC ASEAN.
The smartphone market in the Philippines is expected to rebound this year as competition between popular brands, which will continue to strengthen their positions, and local and minor brands, which will continue to struggle to stay relevant, intensifies. “We expect smartphone vendors to continue shipping in more phablets and equipping their new models with enticing features, such as dual cameras, thin bezels, and on-device artificial intelligence,” Ooi said.
On their website, IDC announced this month that smartphone shipments reached 7.8 million units in 1H18, posting a 5.6% growth year over year (YoY) and allowing the market to bounce back from the -6.6% decline experienced in 1H17. Following Q2 IDC data back in April, the smartphone market showed growth compared with last year because of the increase in shipments of midrange smartphones. Although the ultra-low-end smartphones still have the biggest market share, the average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone grew to US$192 in 1H18 compared with the US$127 before in 1H17.
“The higher ASP indicates that end users are willing to invest in a phone with better specifications and features to suit their latest needs. Use of phones have become heavier, aside from end users being accustomed to using smartphones as a platform for capturing, sharing, saving content, and streaming videos, engaging in higher form of mobile gaming has also been emerging” says Polyne Gallevo, Market Analyst, IDC Philippines.
As Christmas time is fast-approaching, shoppers are getting smarter and wiser. The availability of payment options has continued to make purchasing higher priced smartphones less taxing for end users. Financing companies such as Home Credit and Flexi Finance, and in-store retail credit allow customers who do not own credit cards to get installment plans to make payments lighter.
“Keeping in mind that Filipinos remain to be price conscious and want to ensure they get the best value of their money, brands now highlight not only the quality of cameras but also features that make smartphone usage experience better such as near bezel-less screens, high-speed processors, quality speakers, AI features, and long battery life to ensure the customers that the brand is the bang for their buck,” Gallevo adds.
Top vendors include Samsung (2nd), Vivo (3rd), OPPO (4th), Huawei (5th), and surprisingly topped by Cherry Mobile on the top 1st place. Cherry Mobile is also the only Filipino brand company to make it on the Top 5 vendors list for 2018 as the brand continues to lead the smartphone market in terms of unit market share.
For the upcoming holiday season and budget-conscious shoppers, Cherry Mobile released its brand-new line-up, the Flare S7 series, which effectively puts together features and functions that address a wide variety of lifestyle needs and personalities. Cherry Mobile’s partnership with Mediatek brings outstanding functions on the Flare S7 series and especially with the 2.0GHz Octa-core Helio P60 with AI technology that will enable the user to use and enjoy different apps with ease on the S7 Plus.
“We emphasize on camera, AI, and together with the gaming performance in the future,” said Yenchin Lee, Senior Director, Wireless Communications, Business Unit, Mediatek.
“We’ve been partnering with Mediatek ever since. You can see more of our phones using the Mediatek, possibly the next generation of the other processors,” added Lonson Alejandrino, Sales Manager, Cherry Mobile during the launch of Flare S7 series at the Cyberzone, Annex Bldg., SM North EDSA last October 12.
Affordably priced and impressive, the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 series is the perfect Christmas gift and for all lifestyle needs whether you are the type who is always on the phone for work, or to socialize or de-stress through games, music, and movies.