A recent study by retail monitoring group GfK reveals that phone buyers in Southeast and East Asia are biting more and more into the smartphone trend. The report, which includes figures from the Philippines, shows that in the first quarter of 2010 alone, 1 in 10 handsets purchased in the region was a smartphone.
Hong Kong tops the list with 61.3% of buyers nixing older, less versatile dumbphones. Malaysia, which recorded the highest jump from the previous year, comes in second with 55.2% followed by Singapore with 44.6%. Surprisingly, smartphone manufacturer HTC’s home base, Taiwan, comes in at 4th with only 34.6%.
As for the Philippines, we come in at a perfectly understandable 6th-place ranking with 25.9% (up from 13.6%, Q1 2009). We’re currently behind Indonesia, but well ahead of Vietnam and Thailand.
An estimated 3.29 million units sold has raked in revenue of US$1.26 billion (about P63 billion), thus confirming that the region is a lucrative market for the equally lucrative business.
GfK sees the lowering of 3G data rates as the main reason for the upward trend in sales. They are also expecting the rise to continue until the end of the year, especially with new units like the Samsung Galaxy S, the Apple iPhone 4, and the Nokia N8 coming into the market.
Judging by these numbers, it wouldn’t be long before smartphones take over RP. We’re curious how local brands like Cherry Mobile, Torque, and MyPhone will react once we finally bid basic phones goodbye.