SMART PHONE sales in Thailand continue to grow, with shipments forecast to increase 6 per cent to 23 million units this year at an average price of Bt5,900 per device, according to IDC Thailand. PC and notebook sales, meanwhile, are expected to decline 6
Associate market analyst Nut-chanon Boonsorn said IDC Thailand estimated the Thai smart-phone market to be worth Bt137 billion, representing a 6-per-cent year-on-year expansion, compared with growth of 4 per cent in 2015, when the market was valued at Bt131 billion.
Rise in price
The average price of a smart phone is forecast to rise from Bt5,900 this year to Bt6,500 |next year, and to increase to Bt8,250 in 2020, as the devices will have more features and functions |with innovative technology such as biometrics, he said.
Thai shipments of smart phones totalled 11.9 million units valued at Bt62 billion during the first half of the year, with one of the main factors driving market growth being the intense competition among telecom operators, he said, adding that more than 50 per cent of the population now had a smart phone.
However, sales of tablet devices this year are expected to fall 40 per cent in volume terms to around 850,000 units, and by 37 per cent in value to Bt7.3 billion, partly because such devices are generally not replaced until after three to four years of usage.
Moreover, the latest smart phones and desktop devices are increasingly able to replace tablets, he explained.
Some 430,000 tablets valued at Bt3.7 billion were sold in the first of the year, well down on the peak year of 2014 for tablet sales, when full-year shipments came in at 3.15 million units.
Chaiyakorn Jewwootthipong, also an associate market analyst at IDC Thailand, said PC market shipments this year were forecast to reach 2.38 million units, down 6.6 per cent from 2.55 million units last year.
Market value is expected to be Bt52 billion, 4 per cent higher than last year.
He said the PC market’s fall in volume terms was down to a declining number of first-time buyers and the replacement cycle now being longer, at three to four years.
Meanwhile, the valued of the market has increased because consumers tend to purchase high-performance desktops to support their lifestyle and work, he said.
Around 50,000 gaming PCs are expected to be sold in the Kingdom this year, he added.
The next wave of PC innovation will be devices that come with a virtual mouse and keyboard, all-day battery life, built-in projector, and wireless charging as well as wireless connection, he predicted.
Jarit Sidhu, research manager of IDC Thailand, said the next wave of technologies that would be critical to transformation in the country were augmented and virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of things, next-generation security and cognitive technology.
These technologies will be connected to form the foundation for killer digital-transformation applications and services, he said.
Meanwhile, wearable devices will become increasingly popular in Thailand in the near future, he said, adding that in the first half of the year, some 200,000 basic wearable devices were shipped – of which 45,000 were smart wearables.