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IDC optimistic about smart devices and GST in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | April 9, 2015
Almost 10 million smart devices were shipped into Malaysia during 2014, and the demand for smartphones and tablets will remain positive this year despite the Goods & Services Tax, say IDC analysts.

IDC Malaysia Client Devices Group 

Photo - (From left) Jensen Ooi, Market Analyst for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific; Ng Juan Jin, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC Asia Pacific; Daniel Pang, Senior Research Manager, ASEAN Client Devices, IDC Malaysia; and Jim Sailor, Managing Director- ASEAN, IDC Asia Pacific.


According to market analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC)'s latest mobile phone and tablet trackers, demand for smart devices in Malaysia will continue to be healthy in 2015 despite the implementation on 1 April 2015 of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"In 2015, positive growth in the smart devices will be led by smartphones as the dominant smart device with a forecast growth of 27 percent while tablets will grow by 3 percent in Malaysia," said Jensen Ooi, market analyst for client devices at IDC Asia/Pacific, during a group briefing in Kuala Lumpur.

"The Malaysia PC market is expected to ship 2.2 million PCs in 2015 and decline by an average of 1.3 percent year on year till 2019," said Ng Juan Jin, market analyst for Malaysia client devices, IDC Asia/Pacific. "This is an improved outlook on the back of slowing tablet growth and sustained public sector and enterprise spending."

According to IDC Asia/Pacific's Mobile Phone Tracker 2014Q4 and IDC Asia/Pacific Tablet Tracker 2014Q4, almost 10 million units of smart devices were shipped into Malaysia with smartphones outnumbering tablets by a ratio of nearly four to one. Consumers' usage patterns and hardware demand have fuelled a strong growth of 40 percent year-over-year (YoY) for smartphones while tablets, which were at healthy levels in 2013 declined by 5.4 percent YoY.

Some noteworthy results from both trackers included:

  • The market situation in Malaysia has seen a change with several Chinese and global vendors coming in to play with aggressive price points and acceptable specifications, knocking off some of the local vendors.
  • The total amount of smartphones sold below US$250 doubled since 2013.
  • Smartphones with screen sizes between 4" - 5.5" also doubled as Malaysians have started to appreciate the benefits of having a bigger screen for daily use.
  • In line with the rising popularity of reading from a bigger screen size, phablets (5.6" - 6.9") have caught on as well with a growth of 68 percent YoY.

  A change in what Malaysians want

Ooi said that tablet growth was less robust despite availability of more inexpensive tablets with prices in between US$100-300 that grew by double YoY. However, tablets with cellular capability grew by 89 percent YoY and tablets with smaller screen sizes grew by 15 percent YoY as opposed to bigger ones."

"It is apparent that there has been a change in what Malaysians want when it comes to smart devices," he said. "While maintaining a budget-conscious mind-set, Malaysians want to remain connected and at the same time seek for devices that provide them a certain level of viewing and holding comfort when in use. These devices do not necessarily have to be high-end devices but just need to be good enough to support their various needs such as web browsing, messaging, gaming and watching videos."

Smart devices should see continued growth in the next few years, said Ooi. "Malaysians are becoming more connected and aware of their various needs when purchasing devices. IDC foresees more vendors appearing in the market, both local and foreign as vendors try to further leverage on the consumer demand. The Malaysian government has and will continue to play a big role with its various initiatives of providing incentives or cheaper call plans for the local market, mainly for students or the low-income segment."

According to IDC Asia/Pacific's PC Tracker, Q4 2014, the Malaysian PC market saw a total of 2.2 million units shipped in Malaysia during 2014. Findings included:

  • The commercial market only saw business-as-usual projects and fulfilments.
  • The consumer market reflected the competitive nature of PC sales with several players exiting the market amidst the onslaught of phones and tablets.


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