Smartphone sales in Thailand will overtake those of feature phones in the next three years, thanks to soaring demand for internet-enabled devices and the upcoming 3G licence auction.
In value terms, smartphones surpassed feature phones in sales for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2011, taking a 53% share of total handset sales, said the research firm GfK Thailand.
General manager Wichit Purepong said smartphones sales in the country would reach 4 million units with an estimated value of 37 billion baht in 2012 _ more than double last year's unit sales volume and value.
Mobile handset sales in Thailand are forecast to reach 14.5 million units.
Dr Wichit noted that local smartphone adoption is low when compared with neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
Songklod Wongpeng, GfK's telecom accounts manager, said the average smartphone price fell to 3,000 baht in the first quarter of the year from 4,000 baht at the end of 2011.
Google's Android smartphones are expected to dominate the market with a 65% share of handset sales this year, up from 59% in the first quarter of 2012 and 16% in the first quarter of 2011.
Dr Wichit said sales of mobile phones in the local market totalled 3.8 million units in the first quarter of this year, 758,000 of which were smartphones.
By comparison, sales of feature phones have fallen 12% this year.
"Smartphone sales made up 60% of handset value in the first quarter, up from 53% the previous quarter," he said.
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