The Samsung Galaxy S4 officially launched today in Indonesia. Kompas today quotes Febri Rusli, the product marketing manager of Samsung Indonesia, as saying that the 5,000 stocked phones for pre-orders are all sold out. The pre-order period started two weeks ago, but Febri said that the stocks of new Samsung Galaxy S4 phones was effectively snapped up in the first week of that period.
In contrast, around 7,000 Blackberry Z10 and iPhone 5 phones were sold during pre-orders here. But that is because the two companies stocked more phones in the country during the period.
Samsung (005930:KS) claims to be the king of the smartphone market in Indonesia, saying that four out of five Android phones sold in the country are Samsung devices.
Of course, the more Samsung Galaxy S4 models sold here means bad news for makers of cheaper big-screen smartphones, such as the Chinese handset maker Oppo, which expanded its company reach to Indonesia recently. Will they still get a lot of buyers here in Indonesia?
Samsung top in Indonesia?
Research firm IDC gave us an overview about the Indonesian mobile phone market. Here’s what they had to say:
IDC can say Indonesia’s mobile phone market is a very good market with a very healthy year-on-year growth, which we can see already from 2011 to 2012 when we booked 15 percent year-on-year growth. IDC also forecasted that the Indonesian mobile phone market shipments will reach close to 60 million units – and 14 percent of them being smartphones.
We also asked IDC about how popular Samsung handsets really are in Indonesia. An IDC representative explains to us:
As for Samsung, they are definitely one of major players in the Indonesian market. They will be in the top five smartphone players in Indonesia. They have been one of the global vendors that are able to target every market segment in Indonesia, from screen size, and price point. from the recent IDC Indonesia mobile phone tracker data, we can see Samsung has recorded 10 percent drops due to the slower demands in the market and it is expected to bounce back in Q1 2013 with a very strong growth in the smartphone segment.
IDC didn’t verify if Samsung is top in Indonesia. But Andreas Rompis, vice president of Samsung Indonesia told Detik that Samsung is already the number one mobile phone brand in Indonesia. He also mentioned that research firm Gfk backs the claim. The company also claimed to be the biggest vendor based on sales generated from both feature phones and smartphones.
Don’t forget about Blackberry
I’m curious what Blackberry’s next move will be, especially for the middle and lower tier market. The handset’s domination on the lower and middle tier is waning thanks to the existence of affordable Android handsets like the ones Samsung sells. If there are fewer people using Blackberry, then the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) ecosystem which binds people into sticking to that phone becomes weaker too. Don’t forget that chatting apps like WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk are becoming more popular here too, and they can act as alternatives to using BBM. Those apps now have their own BBM-like data packages from mobile telcos too.
With the Blackberry Z10 already launched, the next move will be its hard keyboard phone, the Q10, which might appeal to the nation’s hardcore messagers. We’re eager to see what will happen then.