Smartphone unit turnover to drop while revenue rises

Smartphone unit turnover to drop while revenue rises

Thailand's smartphone market this year is expected to sell 17-18 million units, down nearly 10%, but revenue is likely to grow at a single-digit clip, worth some 100 billion baht, because of higher average selling prices.

Last year, smartphone unit sales contracted for the first time, down 8% because of fewer subsidies from operators, more low-cost devices and market maturity.

Jay Mart Mobile, the mobile seller of JayMart Group, plans to differentiate itself in the gloomy smartphone market by offering three-month accident insurance for first-time buyers in Thailand.

"In the first half of this year, growth of local smartphones likely contracted in terms of unit sales," said Dusit Sukumvitaya, co-CEO of Jay Mart Mobile. "In the first quarter, business contracted 4% as the economy slowed down."

Despite a slowdown in unit sales, the average selling price for smartphones grew to 7,000-8000 baht in 2018, compared with 6,000 baht last year.

Consumers still purchase replacement Android-based smartphones every 13 months on average.

The overall smartphone market might be more exciting if the telecom regulator were committed to supporting the 4.5G and 5G networks, Mr Dusit said, as those services will stimulate demand for higher-performance smartphones.

To spur market demand, the company is looking to entice consumers with more benefits and devices.

The three-month We Care campaign ends on Sept 30 for users who purchase a smartphone priced above 8,000 baht through Jay Mart shops and online channels. Those buyers will receive six months of accident insurance from JP Insurance.

JP Insurance Plc is being rebranded from Phoenix Insurance Thailand Plc, as JMT Network Services (under JayMart Group) acquired a 55% share through a 390-million-baht investment this year.

"We hope during the three-month campaign we will increase year-on-year sales by at least 10%," Mr Dusit said.

He said that during the period, Jay Mart shops will offer JP Insurance to attract new sources of revenue.

By year-end, the company expects single-digit revenue growth, compared with a double-digit rise last year, as sales slowed in the first half.

"We have to focus more on Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo and Huawei, which offer better margins," Mr Dusit said.

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