The rollout of 5G in developing markets in Southeast Asia has been abysmal, causing hype for 5G to wane and demand to shift to more practical aspects of smartphones such as as battery life, storage, processor speed and camera quality, reports Canalys.
“The demand for 5G devices has stopped. 5G devices saw their first sequential decline at 18% in overall smartphone shipments in the second quarter,” said research analyst Chiew Le Xuan.
Rising inflation has led consumers to seek more durable devices rather than less convenient qualities such as 5G.
The practical uses of 5G have yet to be seen, and are particularly useless for low-mid devices when 4G speeds are sufficient in everyday use.
“Maintaining device affordability while increasing profitability is the biggest challenge for vendors,” Xuan added.
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In the second quarter (Q2), Southeast Asia smartphone shipments reached 24.5 million units, down 7% from the previous quarter.
Samsung retained its leadership position, despite a 19% decline from the first quarter, due to weaker than expected demand for its mid- to high-end A-series.
Indonesia remained the largest market, with 37% market share and 9.1 million shipments, followed by the Philippines with 4.4 million shipments.
Thailand’s smartphone market fell 14% sequentially to 4 million units, and Vietnam’s smartphone market fell 32% quarter-on-quarter to 3.1 million shipments, on weaker consumer demand resulting from global uncertainties and rising commodity prices.
The Malaysian smartphone market grew by 6% to 2.4 million shipments.