E-receipt scheme boosts Thai smartphone and computer sales in January

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Sales of smartphones and computer products have soared by 30-60% in the first week of January, a trend that IT product vendors attribute to the government’s e-receipt programme. This programme, approved by the Cabinet, provides tax rebates of up to 50,000 baht (US$1,435) for individuals not qualifying for the digital handout and is slated to run from January 1 to February 15.

Dusit Sukhumvitaya, CEO of Jaymart Mobile, acknowledged a sales decline in December, attributed to a muted economy. However, he noted that demand rebounded in the final week of December, coinciding with promotional campaigns, and surged in January’s first week by 30-35% following the e-receipt scheme’s launch. This uptick reflects the delayed demand for specific smartphones, predominantly the Galaxy Ultra S23 model.

Several new mobile phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Ultra S24 with artificial intelligence (AI) capability and a premium segment model by Xiaomi, are set to be launched this month. Dusit anticipates an improvement in smartphone sales in the first quarter, awaiting the digital wallet scheme’s launch and the new government budget spending in the subsequent quarters.

Takon Niyomthai, Head of IT business development at Com7, reported a 30% sales surge in December last week due to year-end promotional campaigns. Despite these promotions ending, Com7’s sales rose an additional 10% in January’s first week due to the e-receipt tax scheme.

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Smartphones and computers were the primary contributors to these sales, with smartphones deemed necessary devices and computer sales growing by 60% due to the e-receipt scheme, particularly notebooks priced between 20,000-30,000 baht (US$574-861), reported Bangkok Post.

Takon predicts continued positive momentum, driven by product replacements and new flagship mobile phone models, particularly during February’s Chinese New Year.

Conversely, Somsak Pejthaveeporndej, CEO of VST ECS (Thailand), believes the tax scheme benefits those with personal tax above 20% per year, offering a 10,000 baht (US$287) tax reduction. However, he is sceptical about the scheme’s effectiveness for those with a 10% personal tax during the current economic downturn. He suggests the government should lower high-interest rates to reduce business operation costs and stimulate consumer spending.

As for the IT sector, Somsak expects corporate and government projects to grow by 3% this year, although the consumer segment may still face a negative economic impact. Gartner Inc. estimates that IT spending in Thailand will reach 935 billion baht (US$26.8 million) by 2023.

Line Man Wongnai CEO, Yod Chinsupakul, said their company offers e-receipts and has seen orders grow in January’s first week, a trend expected to continue into February. The company has the highest number of stores participating in the easy e-receipt project within the delivery platform group, with over 721 stores.

Chantsuda Thananitayaudom, senior director of commercial and marketing at Grab Thailand, announced the GrabMart Easy E-Receipt campaign’s launch to facilitate consumers’ tax deduction when purchasing diverse consumer products on GrabMart from January 8 until mid-February.

In related news, back in October last year, Thailand’s smartphone market faced a potential double-digit contraction due to the economic downturn.

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Alex Morgan

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