KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian consumers bought around RM6.8bil worth of smartphones last year, according to Germany's largest market research organisation, GfK.
GfK's Point of Sales Tracking figure showed a significant sale increase from RM5.4bil in 2015, with the biggest spike contributed by mid-range model smartphones priced between RM900 and RM1,050, its South-East Asia managing director Stanley Kee said in a statement.
He said the tracking was done between March 2016 and February 2017.
"Chinese brand smartphones were the key drivers to the spike in demand for mobile devices last year, which registered the highest number of new smartphone brands entering the marketplace.
"With the recent nationwide expansion in mobile connectivity, consumers in the country are increasingly using their smartphones for activities such as mobile shopping, social media and surfing of the Internet," he said.
GfK point of sales tracking also showed that 37% of smartphones sold in the country during the period had screen sizes ranging from 5.01 to 5.6 inches, compared with 21% a year before, making it the fastest growing screen size segment in the past 12 months.
Kee said shopping apps were also gaining popularity, paving the path for mobile payments.
"More consumers today are contributing to the growth of mobile commerce (m-commerce) in Malaysia, making payments through their mobile devices for retail items, airline tickets, and services such as Grab and Uber," he said.
He said in the 2016 GfK Shopper Monitor Electro consumer survey conducted across the Asia Pacific region, most Malaysian respondents indicated price and brand image as key deciding factors in purchasing smartphones.
"Since Malaysian consumers are largely motivated by price, we believe the mid-range category of smartphones will continue to dominate the market this year," said Kee. - Bernama