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Report: Philippines among SEA countries with least affordable smartphones

The Philippines is among countries in Southeast Asia where smartphones are not affordable, a study by online shopping aggregator iPrice Group revealed.
Photo from iPrice

Smartphones in the Philippines were found to be the least affordable for consumers

In its recent report "The State of Online Shoppers in Southeast Asia - Part 1," Price explored the dramatic shift towards mobile-first online shopping amongst consumers across the region.

It looked into the affordability of smartphones, specifically in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Smartphones were found to be the least affordable for Vietnamese, Filipino, and Indonesian consumers, the report read.

iPrice noted that the average price of mid-range smartphones in Vietnam and the Philippines is two or more times the average monthly salary. Meanwhile, the average cost of the same kind of phone in Indonesia is more than one times the average monthly salary.

Furthermore, low-end smartphones are also expensive for customers in said countries, costing more than 70 percent of their average monthly salary.

In the same countries, high-end models are simply out of reach for many, costing from three (3) to six (6) times monthly salary, iPrice added.

In contrast, in markets like Malaysia and Singapore, entry-level smartphones only cost a third of a month’s salary or even less. On the other hand, high-end smartphones are worth one month's salary or less, significantly more affordable than countries initially mentioned.

The study noted that aside from differences in average monthly salaries across these countries, another factor affecting the affordability of smartphones is online sellers pricing certain products based on strong local demand.

Given this, many consumers tend to rely on "fixed, pay-monthly contracts with telecommunication providers, to take advantage of affordable payment packages for the latest models or look to lenders for financing options such as 'Buy Now, Pay Later'," iPrice pointed out.

The study also compared the pricing of four brands across the five countries. Latest iPhone models are consistently priced in the five markets, but high-end models of OPPO, vivo, and Samsung vary about 50 percent between markets, with the Philippines and Indonesia at the higher end, it explained.

The iPrice study was conducted by comparing the average salaries of selected SEA countries with the average price of selected smartphone brands, namely Apple, Oppo, Samsung, and Vivo.

It tapped into its catalog of 7.5 billion offers from e-commerce marketplaces, sellers, and brands and compared actual smartphone pricing from 250,000 smartphone listings.

Source: iPrice

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