A sales representative demonstrates using an Oppo phone at an Oppo store in Jakarta in 2021. (B Universe Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Chinese Brands Dominate Indonesia’s Smartphone Market

BY :EMANUEL KURE & ABDUL MUSLIM

JANUARY 09, 2023

Jakarta. Chinese smartphones are dominating the Indonesian market, with Oppo and Vivo at the top two of the market share for the past four years, even beating South Korean giant Samsung.

The National Statistics Agency (BPS) reported that Indonesia was home to 355.62 million mobile phone subscribers in 2020, up by 4.2 percent from the previous year. The number is expected to reach 365 million, even topping the country’s population which amounted to 277.7 million people.

International Data Corporation (IDC) Indonesia recently revealed that the combined market share of China’s Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme reached 69.5 percent or about 19.6 million units of the total smartphone shipments in Indonesia last year, as of the third quarter. During that period, smartphone shipments to Indonesia totaled 28.2 million units.

IDC Indonesia data showed that the said Chinese brands always made it to the top five over the past years despite smartphone sales slowing. 

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Oppo has been leading Indonesia’s smartphone market with a share of 26.2 percent (2019), 20.8 percent (2021), and 20.92 percent (9M 2022). Vivo managed to beat Oppo in 2020, during which the former controlled 25.2 percent of the Indonesian market.

Samsung would usually rank second or third in Indonesia’s market share. 

As of the first nine months of 2022, Samsung shared the second spot with Xiaomi with a market share of 19.2 percent. Samsung used to have a lead over other brands with 31.8 percent with its market share amounting to 31.8 percent in 2017. Followed by Oppo (22.9 percent) and homegrown smartphone Advan (7.7 percent).

Advan, which focuses on the mid-range, dropped out of the top 5 after failing to compete with Chinese smartphones, which came more feature-packed at a relatively affordable price.

According to IDC Indonesia, Apple’s iPhone never made it to the top five of the country’s smartphone market share. This likely stems from the iPhone being a premium smartphone, thus restricting its market. Almost all iPhone smartphones have a price tag of over Rp 10 million ($640).

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Smartphone Shipments Slowdown

IDC Indonesia reported that the Southeast Asian country only saw 28.2 million smartphone shipments in the first nine months of 2022. On Q3-2022 alone, smartphone shipments to Indonesia only stood at 8.1 million units, marking a 12.4 percent year-on-year decline, and a 14.6 percent drop from the previous quarter.

IDC Indonesia attributed the subdued domestic smartphone market to inflation, which reached 5.95 percent (yoy) in Sep. 2022, after the price increase of subsidized and unsubsidized fuel. Rising fuel prices took a toll on consumer’s purchasing power and overall demand.

The ultra-low-end (<$100) and low-end ($100-200) segments also saw a decline.

“The combined share [of those two segments] shrank to 75 percent from 81 percent in the third quarter of 2021,” Vanessa Aurelia, the associate market analyst at IDC Indonesia, said in Jakarta last week.

Indonesia’s smartphone shipments stood at 40.9 million units in 2021, following the government’s mandate on international mobile equipment identity (IMEI). 

In Sep. 2020, Indonesia issued a mandate to register the IMEI numbers of mobile phones in the Industry Ministry’s database. All phones need to have their IMEI registered to connect to cellular networks in the country. 

Indonesia also issued the IMEI policy to curb the circulation of illegal phones in the black market, while also boosting state revenue through import duty and taxes.

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