Computerworld Malaysia presents, in completely random order, extracts of interviews and commentaries from industry leaders, which include some of the key challenges and opportunities for the ICT industry in Malaysia in 2015.
Though industry drivers are more interconnected than ever, the responses have been loosely grouped into 'episodes' with the following themes: National Enterprise & Talent; App Development, Mobile & Social; Cloud, Networking & Data Centres; Big Data Analytics & IoT; and Cybersecurity.
Jensen Ooi, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC Malaysia (pic), starts the discussion with a mobile phone market overview:
2014 has been a very interesting year for the Malaysian mobile phone market. A massive growth for smartphones was recorded as of 2014 Q3 despite the absence of the Government's Youth Communication Package (YCP). The YCP initiative is to provide a rebate of up to RM200 [US$56.70] for the purchase of smartphones targeted at adults aged 21-30 with a minimum income of RM3,000 [US$850.53] or less. The cause of growth was due to an influx of Chinese (including Taiwanese) smartphones that emerged around 2014 Q2 and disrupted the market from then on, leaving well known giants like Samsung, Apple and Sony in a state of decline.
The influx of Chinese handsets was a game changer for Malaysia's mobile phone environment. Apart from well-known smart phone vendors, most feature phones vendors witnessed a decline - a relative effect caused by the variety of Chinese handsets made available in the local market.
In Malaysia, the Chinese vendors brought in handsets, most of which are of entry to mid-level models ranging approximately US$200. While these may lack the latest features or may not even be the best in the market, it would seem that these Chinese handsets were "good enough" for Malaysians' daily usage. From IDC's viewpoint, end-users saw these types of handsets as a golden opportunity for an upgrade/ change as such handsets are considered value-for-money due to affordable pricing and reasonable specifications which allowed them to install and run various free essential apps without facing much issue.
Comparing Chinese smartphones against the non-Chinese smartphones, a whopping growth could be seen during 20141H where unit shipments nearly tripled compared to the previous half with Lenovo leading the charge. The newcomers, Xiaomi and OPPO trailed behind closely while the non-Chinese smartphones suffered a consecutive decline. Despite maintaining sustainable levels of sales, tech giants that use to dominate like Samsung, Apple and Sony registered a substantial decline in market share. Samsung remains as the market leader throughout in spite of the competition.
Most of these phones run on Android and the Chinese vendors are the reign of Android phones shall continue with prosperous growth. It is likely that Malaysia will witness more Chinese phones coming in, multiplying the intensity of competition in the arena. Vendors that use to dominate will likely be seen changing gears to improve their strategies in order to compete effectively again.
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