AI, foldable screens, and gaming features target wealthy Thai consumers

Photo courtesy of Somchai Poomlard

Premium smartphones equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), foldable screens, and specialised gaming features are being aggressively marketed by manufacturers to wealthy Thai consumers in the first quarter. This marketing strategy is in harmony with the Thai government’s shopping tax incentive and the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year.

M Vision’s chief executive, Opas Cherdpunt, anticipates a minimum 10% rise in sales at Thailand Mobile Expo 2024 compared to the 1 billion baht recorded at the previous event in October. This confidence was expressed during an interview with the Bangkok Post on the event’s opening day at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. The expo will run until Sunday.

Opas attributes this projected increase in sales to the introduction of new mobile phone models, the government’s Easy E-Receipt tax incentive, and the festive Chinese New Year spirit. The tax scheme allows individuals to claim up to a 50,000 baht (US$1,395) tax deduction on goods and services purchased from businesses that utilise the e-tax system between January 1 and February 15 of this year.

Opas noted that while a handful of products were launched over the past two years, a significantly greater number of new models are available this year. This surge in new models aligns with analysts’ predictions of a potential boom in phone replacements, a cycle that typically happens every two years.

The expo showcased three new models: the AI-powered Samsung Galaxy S24 series, Oppo Reno 11 Series, and Honor Magic v2 foldable smartphone. Asus and ZTE also introduced new gaming mobile phones, with price tags ranging between 30,000 (US$837) and 60,000 baht (US$1,675), reported Bangkok Post.

Financial programs

Opas expressed concern over the potential weak sales of phones priced below 12,000 baht (US$335) and entry-level phones. He explained that some users do not intend to buy new devices unless their current ones break.

Dusit Sukhumvitaya, chief executive of Jaymart Mobile Co Ltd, stated that the Thai smartphone market should benefit from the Easy E-Receipt scheme and the Chinese New Year atmosphere in the first quarter. He also mentioned that Apple has reduced the prices of iPhone models in Thailand by an average of 3,000 baht (US$83), which should be beneficial to consumers.

Financial programmes play a crucial role in consumers’ purchasing decisions, Dusit added. In addition to partnering with Samsung Financial, Jaymart also collaborates with True Money to offer loans to individuals without credit cards.

Sitthichoke Nopchinabutr, vice president of mobile experiences at Samsung Electronics, said the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series received positive feedback during recent pre-orders. He mentioned that the volume of S24 series pre-orders in Thailand ranked in the top five worldwide and was the largest in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Sitthichoke believes that the excitement for the series will not be short-lived but will continue to persist.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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