Smartphone shipments in Malaysia had dropped by 5.9% in 2016 versus the previous year according to IDC Malaysia’s latest report. They reckon this was likely caused by negative economic factors which include our depreciating ringgit against the US dollar.
Despite the annual decline, smartphone shipments had picked up in the last quarter and the top 3 brands were still able to increase their respective market share.
For the last 3 months of 2016, Samsung remained the top smartphone brand in Malaysia with 877,000 units shipped. Despite the Galaxy Note7 disaster, the Korean smartphone brand had sold 77.2% more phones compared to the same period in 2015. The battery issue had caused hardly any impact and most shipments came from the affordable Galaxy J series.
At #2, Apple had shipped 351,000 units which coincide with the release of its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Despite the price increase, they have moved more units compared to Q4 2015 and IDC noted that most units are sold through telco contracts.
OPPO at #3 had shown the biggest growth in Q4 2016 by more than doubling its shipments versus the previous year. They have shipped 293,000 smartphones followed by Huawei at #4 with 221,000 units. The focus on selfie-centric smartphones is paying off for OPPO while Huawei is gradually increasing its foothold in the flagship segment with its P9 series.
ASUS manages to remain on the top 5 list with just 205,000 units shipped. Compared to 2015, the new ZenFone 3 series didn’t do as well as the ZenFone 2. This could be partly due to the ZenFone 3’s higher price tag as the Taiwanese brand tries to go premium.
Throughout 2016, Samsung had shipped over 3 million smartphones in Malaysia with a steady growth of 17.2% year on year. The Chinese brands such as OPPO and Huawei have also grown significantly last year overtaking ASUS and Apple. ASUS, which have always thrived on selling compelling phones at lower price point is the worst hit in 2016. The ASUS ZenFone 3 is a remarkable improvement over its predecessor but it’s probably too ambitious for our local market.
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