May 22, 2024

Industry Trends: Strategic Insights into the Asian Smartphone Market


Taiwan Smartphone  - Feb 2024



According to a recent report by Canalys, the Southeast Asian smartphone market experienced a contrarian growth of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2023, reaching 23.8 million units. This marks a shift after seven consecutive quarters of decline, indicating a gradual recovery in the market. Moreover, smartphone shipments in 2024 are expected to increase by 7% compared to 2023. The driving forces behind this growth include the overall recovery of the regional economy, the expanding middle class, the rise of a youthful population, and the increase in digital payment and financing options, all of which make high-end devices more affordable for the general public.

According to the latest survey by Engagement Lab, most consumers in countries like Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia hold a positive view of the future development of the smartphone industry. Particularly in Taiwan, a significant 88% of respondents affirmed the correct direction of industry development. In Thailand and Indonesia, more than two-thirds of consumers believe that the industry needs transformation. However, the Japanese market shows a different trend, with 50% of respondents maintaining a neutral stance regarding the future direction of the industry. This might reflect a higher satisfaction with the status quo or a cautious attitude towards future developments among Japanese consumers. In terms of budgeting, Thai consumers show a strong willingness to increase their expenditure on smartphones, whereas 17% of Japanese consumers intend to reduce their spending on these devices, reflecting the varying maturity levels and consumer dynamics across different markets.


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Based on the survey analysis by Engagement Lab, here are some recommendations for industry decision-makers:


  1. Strengthen Market Confidence
    In Taiwan, where confidence in the industry's direction is remarkably high, companies should continue to advance along their current lines of innovation and development while reinforcing this positive outlook through marketing efforts.

  2. Localized Innovation Strategies
    In Thailand and Indonesia, where there is a strong demand for industry transformation, companies should focus on introducing new technologies and products to meet market expectations. The neutral attitude in the Japanese market suggests that businesses should offer more segmented products and cater to specific consumer needs.

  3. Consider the Role of Government Regulation
    In Singapore, a higher proportion of consumers support increased government control. It is advisable to be mindful of compliance and changes in government policies when entering or expanding in the Singapore market. Conversely, in Thailand and Indonesia, the relatively free market environment can be leveraged to drive innovation.

  4. Exploit Consumer Spending Potential
    Facing Thailand's strong willingness to spend, companies should intensify their marketing efforts in these markets, introducing more diverse products and services to entice consumers to increase their spending.

  5. Market Education and Consumer Engagement
    Given the conservative stance of Japanese consumers on increasing spending on smartphones, companies can enhance consumer awareness of new technologies through market education. By targeting the premium market and offering differentiated products, businesses can attract these consumers.

  6. Diversified Market Strategies
    Given the significant differences in perceptions of the smartphone industry across countries, it is necessary to develop specific and diversified market strategies for each region. Companies should conduct in-depth research into each market to understand the specific needs of different consumer groups.


Overall, industry decision-makers should recognize the diversity and dynamism of the Asian market in the smartphone industry and adjust strategies according to the specific attitudes and needs of each country's market. Through precise market positioning and product innovation, coupled with alignment with government policies, success can be achieved in the competitive smartphone market.

 Engagement Lab will continue to monitor the attitudes of the populations in East Asian countries towards their domestic smartphone industries and update survey data regularly. This effort aims to keep a pulse on market dynamics and shifts in consumer demands.



Research by: Engagement Lab
Survey Date: February 6th to 14th, 2024
Methodology: Online survey
Target Group: Internet users aged above 15 years old
Target Country: Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia
Sample Size:
Taiwan        834
Indonesia   3,402
Japan           2,130
Singapore   195
Thailand     1697
Malaysia     693
Editor: TNL Research
Review by: Tatt Chen

* Contents in this report were drafted with input from