The smartphone market continued to grow in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan in Q3, albeit at a modest six percent quarter on quarter, according to IDC.
During this period, India led with 23 million units shipped, and added around five million units to the market over Q2.
Emerging markets in the region also surged ahead with 23 million units shipped, accounting for 22 percent growth as tier-1 Chinese vendors extended their reach outside China.
Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia spearheaded growth in Southeast Asia (SEA) with almost double the shipment compared to the same quarter a year ago.
On the other hand, growth in China slowed to one percent, quarter on quarter.
Overall, local and Chinese vendors have gained at the cost of global vendors. The impact was more pronounced in SEA where global vendors’ share dropped from 62 percent in Q3 2013 to 43 percent this Q3.
“The local vendors have leveraged their strengths and understanding of the local market, coupled with aggressive marketing to grow their scale in the under US$100 segment. On the other hand, the Chinese vendors have been more focused in the price segment US$100-US$200, are also trying to differentiate through concerted moves into the mid-range to-high-end segments as well,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst of Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.
IDC expects the share of phablets (5.5- to 7-inch screen size) to steadily increase from 16 perccent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2018.
“In mature markets, we expect large screen iPhones to be the key driver, while in emerging markets, budget phones on Android operating system in the 5.5- to 6-inch category are expected to have a strong growth momentum. Even as 7-inch voice calling tablets are gaining traction in the emerging markets in the region, the more ‘mobile’ phablets will continue to gain momentum, as we have yet to see a significant proportion of consumers who buy the voice calling tablets actually using it as their primary phone,” she added.