While the economies of India or China have experienced fluctuations in fortune, Indonesia has steadily been nurturing a taste for the latest in computer and telecommunications technology. In fact, according to recent economic trends, Indonesians will be purchasing over 60 million mobile phones during 2013. This eye-watering figure represents a 114% penetration rate.
This ferocious upsurge is being driven by two factors: the replacement market and, even more significantly, social media. Samsung are leading the way in the Indonesian marketplace, taking the lion’s share of the two-thirds of mobile sales generated by international brands. Samsung, a South Korean conglomerate, are facing stiff competition from both local Indonesian retailers and the Chinese market (this chunk of the overall pie chart has risen to 37% and continues to grow). BlackBerry and Nokia are experiencing strong sales figures, although Apple is currently lagging some way behind.
Where the Indonesian market is really burgeoning is in sales of smart phones. Blackberry have seen their products shifting at a rate that represents a 30% increase. The 37 models they are offering in Indonesia have seen them taking around 50% of the market. Samsung, who have an even greater number of smart phones in their arsenal (some 225 models) have enjoyed a sales increase of over 130%, or 39% of the market.
Apple have not reached such impressive heights with their smart phones: their 13 models amount to a mere 2% of the overall sales. Similarly, the Nokia Windows phone (with 22 models) equate to 2% of the total. While they dominate the market in feature phones, they have come nowhere near matching Samsung’s dominance in Indonesia.
Mobiles and social media
As with elsewhere on the globe, the potent driving force behind smart phone sales in Indonesia is social media. Everyone from commuters heading into Jakarta’s financial district to farmers on the outlying Javanese islands are increasingly reliant on having virtual lifelines to the outside world in the palm of their hands. Interestingly, statistical research reveals that while one-fifth of the Indonesian population are connected to the web at home and 65% can surf in internet cafes, less than 10% possess PCs. This means that there is a vast pool of consumers who are reliant on mobile phones for maintaining network links, as well as providing entertainment.
Indonesians are particularly susceptible to social media. Meeting up with friends for chats and games, and getting together with like minded people in groups, have been cultural mainstays for generations. These activities are more than catered for by mobile phone technology, which is one reason why smart phones have been so embraced in this part of the world, and why brands must include mobile as part of their digital strategy when targeting Indonesia.
Brandcast Media is an award-winning creative, digital and video agency previously based in London and now Singapore, as featured in Campaign Asia. Brandcast Media is looking to use Singapore as a hub to reach new clients across Asia and has been taking a closer look at Indonesia.