Southeast Asia’s laptop market totalled over USD 2.2 billion in first 9 months of 2014

Indonesia and Malaysia are biggest markets in the region; 15 and 17 inch models surged in demand

gfk_logoIn spite of recent technological advancements in mobile devices and consumer trends shifting towards the latest portable products, sales of mobile computers managed to hit nearly 4.9 milllion units in Southeast Asia’s six key markets in the first three quarters of this year.

Across the region’s tracked markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, Indonesia is the largest market contributing to over a third (35%) of overall laptop sales volume and a lower proportion of 28 percent in sales value. Malaysia trails as the second biggest market, accounting for 21 and 22 percent respectively of the region’s total volume and value sales.

“The growing focus towards convenience and portability in recent years has shifted consumer preference towards buying mobile devices like smartphones and tablets; inevitably impacting the demand of the overall laptop market,“ said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital World at GfK Asia. “At the same time, Thailand’s lacklustre sales due to the political unrest which took place earlier in this year had a some bearing on the sector’s performance in the region.“

Although trending down in general, latest GfK retail findings revealed that laptopa with larger screen sizes have been gaining grounds. While all other sizes exhibited lesser performance when compared to a year ago, the 15 and 17 and above sized segments exhibited strong of 61 and 49 percent growth in take up rate. Total market share of the slightly smaller 15 inch category expanded by 8 percent to now occupy 18 percent of the region’s overall sales—making up nearly 1 in every 5 laptops sold.

“With the portability criteria already fulfilled by smartphones and tablets, it makes sense for consumers who are still seeking smart connected devices to acquire a device with larger screen,“ explained Tan. “Besides, consumers are increasingly using computers for consumption of digital content these days and bigger screens make for better viewing experiences.“

Malaysia and Vietnam especially reported the highest rise in demand for 15 inch screen sized laptops, garnering additional sales in this particular segment of around 142,000 and 96,000 units this year compared to last year.

“Falling prices is one of the key attributing factors aiding the strong growth of the 15 inch laptop segment, as the gap between 14 and 15 inch models have significantly narrowed in the past one year,“ said Tan. “In Malaysia for instance, consumers snapped up more 15 inch laptops when average price fell by 16 percent compared to last year, reducing the price difference from that of smaller sized models.“

“Consumers have been delaying their purchase of mobile computers as they put their dollars in other newer and innovative mobile devices,“ added Tan. “However, as their laptop goes through the usual cycle and is due for an upgrade, we can expect some form of recovery in time to come,“ he concluded.