Last July, market research firm TNS revealed that 53 percent of respondents in Metro Manila already own a smartphone. For 2014, research firm IDC predicts smartphone adoption will see a 22 percent year-on-year increase in the country. This will lead to an increase in m-commerce transactions and app usage among Filipinos.
For a sense of scale, last year market analyst GfK reported a 42 percent increase in smartphone sales.
Local brands push growth
The purchasing behavior of consumers in the Philippines shows that while they like international smartphone and tablet brands, Filipinos tend to purchase more local brands. In 2014 we’ll likely see Cherry Mobile and MyPhone grow even further as they cement their reputation as the country’s two top homegrown mobile brands.
More mobile activity
Apart from using the internet to access social media sites, the IDC Philippines team believes the creation and usage of apps, and mobile commerce in general, will rise this year.
In terms of apps, demand for more localized apps and those that cater to the interests of Philippine consumers is expected to increase in the country. We have seen how a number of Philippine startups have already started to address this, but IDC says we can expect more this year.
This higher adoption of mobile devices is something that enterprises and startups can tap into. Even monetization models for social media platforms are arising. Cecilia Santos, an analyst at IDC Philippines, told Upgrade Mag, “In 2014, more organizations will see the importance of having visibility in the mobile social network and look for more creative ways of selling themselves to their consumers through app partnerships.”
While m-commerce is nothing new in the Philippines, it could use a boost. Financial institutions are expected to create mobile banking apps for their clients.
Of course, these mobile-centric trends can also be attributed to the roll-out of 4G networks in the country.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff and Steven Millward)