Apple’s sweet surprise: iPhone 15 lineup set to juice up Thailand’s smartphone sales

Photo by Zhiyue on Unsplash.

Apple Inc’s new line of iPhone 15 models is set to boost Thailand’s smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, say industry analysts and a mobile phone distributor. In the premium smartphone market in Thailand, Apple and Samsung devices continue to reign.

Apple debuted the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max on Tuesday. Thai consumers will be among the first to access these models, with preorders opening tomorrow and widespread availability from September 22. The iPhone15 Pro Max starts at 48,900 baht and the 15 Pro is priced at 41,900 baht, as per Apple Store Thailand’s website.

Apirat Ratanavichit, a market analyst at IDC Thailand, believes that the iPhone 15 series will contribute to market growth due to its strong appeal to Thai consumers and high-end users. These users are likely to be drawn to the titanium build of the iPhone 15 Pro series, the new 48MP camera’s performance, and the improved chip performance. In the Thai market, the Pro series consistently outperforms the standard models.

The premium mobile phone segment experienced robust performance in the first quarter of the year, driven by strong consumer demand for the iPhone 14 series and a positive response to the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra launch. Inflation had a lesser impact on this segment. However, the second quarter saw a shift towards lower-mid range segments, and the premium segment performed poorly as consumers likely awaited the new iPhone’s third-quarter release.

Apple and Samsung dominate the premium smartphone segment in Thailand, with Apple holding about a 70% market share, followed by Samsung at approximately 20%, according to IDC Thailand.

IDC predicts a flat growth year-on-year for the Thai smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking an end to the year-on-year declines of the previous quarters of 2023.

Apirat said…

“For 2024, we are expecting the market to rebound due to stimulus policies from the new government resulting in increased consumer spending.”

In the first half of 2023, the premium segment’s share in Thailand rose to 15% of the market, up from 10% in the same period last year.

Glen Cardoza, senior analyst of Counterpoint Research, stated that Apple’s launch event was a solid display across all models. He sees potential for continued average selling price strength with the base model being a strong upgrade for many, and the top-end model introducing smart titanium luxe and a powerful 5x optical zoom.

However, Cardoza believes the iPhone 15 series’ success will not be enough for the country’s smartphone market to rebound. Apple enjoyed a 29% year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2023 in Thailand, the highest among the top five brands, but its share was just over 10%. Macroeconomic problems affected the first half of the year.

Brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme have been conservative in launching new smartphone models in the premium price segment, which has slightly impacted this segment due to a lack of options for consumers.

Dusit Sukhumvithaya, CEO of JayMart Mobile Plc, anticipates a warm reception for the new iPhone15 from Apple’s fan base, especially early adopters using the existing iPhone14 models. However, he expressed concerns about the supply availability, which needs to be allocated among the first-tier countries.

In the first half of 2023, overall smartphone sales in Thailand contracted by 10% while the value rose by 1%. Sales in 2023 are expected to total 12-13 million units.

In related news, Apple unveiled their new iPhone and Apple Watch models with relatively modest changes alongside higher prices. Read here to learn more.

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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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