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Smartphone sales in Southeast Asia have exploded this year

The latest GfK data shows that smartphone take-up has passed the halfway mark in the overall handset market which includes basic feature phones, making up 55% in March across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. Smartphone sales volume continue to break its own record month after month to reflect its continued growth of 43% in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2013. In value terms, the popular gadget generated nearly US$4.2 billion (RM15.6 billion) up to March this year – 25% more compared with a year ago.

Southeast Asia is an up-and-coming region for smartphones, with sales continuing to intensify and breaking the halfway mark in the overall handset market to surpass feature phones, according to a latest report from market research firm GfK. In total, 18 million smartphones were sold across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam in the first quarter of 2014, up 43 percent from the same period a year ago. The value of all the smartphones sold in January through March was pegged at $4.2 billion, up 25 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the report. Notably, in March 2014, smartphone sales made up 55 percent of the total handset market across Southeast Asia, as more people in the region upgrade from basic feature phones to smartphones. This momentum is only set to increase with the availability of low-cost Android devices making their way to the market, particularly from China.

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