Smartphone Market Profile: Southeast Asia

By Aman Bansal, Flurry Analyst

With 8.5% of the world’s population, Southeast Asia is a culturally and ethnically diverse region and one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. It’s made up of several countries, anchored by Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country. In this report, we’ll analyze the current smartphone landscape in Southeast Asia. 

Flurry Analytics is used in over 1 million mobile applications worldwide, providing insights from 2 billion devices per month. Let’s begin by reviewing the distribution of mobile devices across Southeast Asia by country.

Southeast Asian Smartphone Devices by Country

In the chart above, we list each country in Southeast Asia by its percentage of smartphone users. Indonesia accounts for 45% of all smartphone users in Southeast Asia and 40% of its total population, followed by the Philippines (16% of smartphone users, 16% of population), Thailand (12% of smartphone users, 10% of population) and Vietnam (11% of smartphone users, 14% of population).

Year-over-Year Change in New Device Activations

As seen in the chart above, the Southeast Asia region saw a strong increase in device activations, growing 20% YoY. This was primarily driven by the larger markets such as Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand that continued to grow despite their huge existing user base. In the case of Indonesia, a 25% growth rate for a country of 274 million people is a significant shift. Among the reasons growth is so high across these countries is low existing smartphone penetration, which stands at 31%, 34%, and 40%, respectively. Their relative market sizes and growth rates provide lucrative opportunities for app developers to monetize and grow their own user bases. Singapore’s 28% decline in mobile device activations is likely due to their extremely high smartphone penetration rate of 90%. Based on our analysis, their device activations peaked in 2018 and have declined each year thereafter. 

Next, let’s review the platform preference in Southeast Asia.

Platform Preference in Southeast Asia

In the chart above, we list each country by its share of Android devices compared to iOS devices. Brunei, the least populated country in Southeast Asia, has the highest share of iOS devices at 65%. Indonesia, the most populated country in the region, has the highest share of Android devices at 96%. While the average Android share in Southeast Asia is 86%, it varies considerably amongst different countries. This wide variation speaks to the diversity within the region which app developers should keep in mind as they vie for success in these markets.

Next, let’s take a look at market share by smartphone manufacturers in Southeast Asia.

Smartphone OEM Marketshare in Southeast Asia

In the chart above, we list the top 5 smartphone manufacturers in Southeast Asia as of September 2020. We then combine the remaining manufacturers into “Others,” represented by the gray slice of the pie. Samsung is the clear leader controlling 34% of all smartphones in the Southeast Asian market, followed by OPPO at 18%, Apple at 14%, vivo at 13%, and Xiaomi at 8%. From 2019 to 2020, both Samsung and vivo gained market share, by 1 and 2 percentage points, respectively. Meanwhile, OPPO and Apple remained flat, while Xiaomi lost 1 percentage point.

Finally, let’s review the most popular device models in Southeast Asia.

Top Smartphone Models in Southeast Asia

In the chart above, we list the 10 most popular smartphone devices in Southeast Asia as of September 2020 by the number of active devices in the market. We list OPPO models in blue, Samsung models in orange, and vivo models in green. OPPO phones feature prominently as amongst the most popular smartphones in the region, taking 3 out of the top 5 spots, followed by Samsung phones taking 5 out of the top 10 spots, and vivo taking the remaining 2 spots. Notably missing from this list is Apple, which despite being the third largest OEM in the region, did not figure amongst the most popular devices.

Southeast Asia’s low smartphone penetration rate combined with a large population and high new device adoption rates make it an enticing market for both app developers and device manufacturers. We’ll continue to analyze smartphone markets around the world. Make sure you subscribe to the Flurry blog and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more country profiles and other market analyses.

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