A deserted smartphone center in Pekanbaru, Riau, on May 12. (Antara Photo/F.B. Anggoro)

Indonesian Smartphone Market Takes Huge Hit From Pandemic


MAY 19, 2020

Jakarta. According to the latest data from market research firm International Data Corporation, or IDC, smartphone shipment to Indonesia reached 7.5 million units in the first quarter of 2020, down 24.1 percent from the previous quarter.

The IDC said the decline was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which began to affect the market in the last few weeks of the quarter.

Several smartphone brands have been able to keep their business going since they have local production facilities and a safe supply of components for the first two months of this quarter.

The supply disruptions only started when the outbreak began in early March.

Signs of a real market slowdown appeared in early April when the government started implementing its large-scale social restriction (PSBB), which includes closing down retail outlets to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

This caused a drastic reduction in smartphone demand.

"The Indonesian smartphone market will continue to experience turbulence caused by various economic factors until the third quarter of 2020, or at least before the market begins to see signs of stability again," IDC Indonesia market analyst Risky Febrian said on Tuesday.

Risky also said the regulation requiring all smartphones to be stamped with a unique 15-digit international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) is already having a positive impact in the local smartphone industry by reducing illegal smartphone imports.

The IMEI requirement means more smartphones will soon be manufactured in Indonesia, benefiting local industries in the long-term.

New Market Leader

In the first quarter of 2020, Chinese smartphone maker Vivo became the market leader in Indonesia for the first time with a 27.4 percent market share, overtaking Oppo. 

The brand's strategy to focus on the lower-end market segment has paid off.

Vivo was in third position in the previous two quarters.

South Korean giant Samsung, a long-time market leader, was in third place, followed by Xiaomi and Realme. 

Vivo Indonesia senior brand director Edy Kusuma said Vivo's achievement in the Indonesian market is in line with its progress in the global smartphone market.

The company has a long-term plan to manufacture quality smartphones in Indonesia. 

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reported that in the first quarter of 2020 Vivo had a global market share growth of 7 percent year-on-year and a 9 percent market share.

Now in the top five of global smartphone brands, Vivo managed to ship 24.8 million smartphones during the quarter.