Myanmar smartphone shipments up to 26% YoY: IDC

26 December 2016
Myanmar smartphone shipments up to 26% YoY: IDC
A man speaks on his mobile phone in front of a building with Ooredoo telecom advertising at downtown area in Yangon, Myanmar, 09 February 2016. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

According to the latest International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, a total of 2.5 million smartphones were shipped to Myanmar in 2016Q3, reflecting a 26% (year-on-year) YoY growth, IDC said in a statement on 25 December. This has been the strongest YoY growth seen in Myanmar’s budding smartphone market since 2015Q3. Sequentially, shipments declined 10% from 2.7 million in 2016Q2 as soft retail sales and the typhoon season negatively impacted smartphone buying in the country.
“Despite years of hypergrowth in Myanmar’s emerging smartphone market, channels are now starting to lament about a looming slowdown as retail sales show signs of softening, causing inventory buildup across the board,” says Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst for Mobile Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific.
IDC maintains a positive outlook for Myanmar’s smartphone market in 2017, although growth is expected to be tamer compared to previous years.
“IDC expects Myanmar’s smartphone market to grow by 9% this 2017 off the back of relatively low smartphone penetration rate and rising disposable income. This is already a lowered forecast to account for the slower consumer market and political instability in some parts of Myanmar,” adds Dominguez.
Myanmar’s projected growth for smartphones in 2017 still stands higher than the 6% growth expected in the whole ASEAN region for next year.
Myanmar Smartphone Vendor and Market Highlights, 2016Q3
Samsung continued to keep its lead, owing it largely to the good reception of its budget-friendly J-series. Huawei came in at 2nd place and while finishing with a flat quarter, its sales and distribution were still going strong across Myanmar. Vivo spiked last quarter, coming in at 3rd place as it further penetrated tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Xiaomi dropped to the 4th spot although its volume remained high and consumer response stayed positive as it continued to offer smartphones perceived as good value for money. OPPO held the 5th place, maintaining its stronghold in the urban sites of Yangon and Mandalay although its overall shipments dropped quarter-on quarter (QoQ) due to inventory build-up.
As with many developing countries, low-cost smartphones continue to thrive in Myanmar. In 2016Q3, 89% of smartphone shipments to the country fall below US$225. “Smartphones priced at US$50