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Smartphone shipments in Philippines recover in 1st half — IDC report

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SMARTPHONE shipments jumped 5.6% to 7.8 million units in the first half, a reversal of the decline seen in the same period in 2017, according to International Data Corp. (IDC) Philippines.

In its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report released on Monday, IDC attributed the first half growth to the increase in shipments of midrange smartphones (worth $200 to $399). It also noted the average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone now stands at $192 from $127 in the first half of 2017.

“The higher ASP indicates that end users are willing to invest in a phone with better specifications and features to suit their latest needs,” IDC Philippines market analyst Polyne Gallevo said in the statement.

Ms. Gallevo said the higher ASP may also reflect an expanding function of smartphones for its users, from being only a “platform for capturing, sharing, saving content and streaming videos” to a device used for a “higher form” of mobile gaming.

The recovery comes after smartphone shipments in 2017 fell 6.6% to 15 million units due to “intense competition” from top brands.

While the ASP of smartphones has grown in the first half of this year, ultra-low-end units (worth less than $100) accounted for the bulk of shipments, followed by low-end units (worth $100 to $199) and midrange units.

For more expensive smartphones, IDC said the availability of different payment options may increase its chances of growing its sales. It noted in-store installment options from financing companies may help shoppers with no credit cards buy high-end smartphones.

“Keeping in mind that Filipinos remain to be price conscious and want to ensure they get the best value of their money, brands now highlight not only the quality of cameras but also features that make smartphone usage experience better such as near bezel-less screens, high-speed processors, quality speakers, AI features, and long battery life to ensure the customers that the brand is the bang for their buck,” Ms. Gallevo added.

The IDC report also identified the top smartphone sellers in the first half, still led by local company Cherry Mobile and international brand Samsung.

IDC said while Cherry Mobile remains on top of the list, it saw a “slight decline” in its performance because of stiffer competition on the price of its products with international brands.

Vivo outpaced OPPO to land in the third place because of its boosted marketing efforts in promoting the V9 and an increase in shipments for its Y71, Y85 and X21 units.

OPPO is now the fourth top seller, followed by Huawei which IDC said showed “significant growth” with improved promotional efforts. — Denise A. Valdez