Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Smartphone market to keep on growing: IDC report

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

Total shipments of cellphones to Taiwan decreased 1.1 percent to 2.21 million units in the first quarter compared with the same period last year due to the declining demand for feature phones, according to market researcher International Data Corp (IDC).

On a quarterly basis, shipments increased 0.8 percent from the previous three months, IDC said yesterday.

Shipments of feature phones to the local market declined 54 percent to 560,000 units in the first quarter from 1.21 million units in the same period last year, and compared with 840,000 units in the fourth quarter of last year, IDC data showed.

Feature phones accounted for less than 30 percent of the local market in the quarter, the market researcher added.

On the other hand, shipments of smartphones to the local market continued to rise in the first quarter, with the number reaching 1.65 million units, up 22.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 61.5 percent year-on-year. The growth is set to continue even though the average selling prices of smartphones climbed in the first quarter because of the release of Apple Inc’s iPhone 4S.

Senior IDC analyst Joey Yen (嚴蘭欣) said she expected the smartphone market to expand further, as more mid-range priced smartphones expected to enter the market in the coming quarters, making the phones more affordable for consumers.

In the first quarter, IDC said that the category of sub-NT$10,000 (US$339) smartphones had accounted for a considerable share of the market, with prices of a few old models dropping to below NT$4,000 each.

In terms of smartphone operating systems, the Android platform still led the local market in the first quarter, with 73.4 percent, leaving it 50 percent ahead of Apple’s iOS, according to the IDC report.

“With the continuing growth of the smartphone market, vendors and manufacturers need to pay attention to how to make differentiations in order to grow stably,” Yen said.

“Besides prices and hardware specifications, they need to focus more on hardware functions, software applications as well as on the external appearances and designs of the phones,” she said.

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