More than half the phones sold in Singapore last year were smartphones: Canalys

Some Asian countries seem to have left the Western countries in terms of smartphone adoption, according to the latest numbers from Canalys — a digital market research agency.

The numbers revealed that a whopping 61% of all phone sold in Singapore last year were ‘smartphones’.

And just in case you were wondering if these were low-end smartphones, the research also revealed that more than half of them were priced higher than $550 (Rs 25,000) each.

In comparison, only around 6% of the phones sold in India last year are estimated to have been ‘smart,’ while the figure is 23% for the World as a whole.

“‘The three major operators in Singapore have successfully enticed consumers through their wide product portfolios, competitively priced bundled data contract plans, attractive subsidies, and strong marketing campaigns to promote the latest smart phones,” says Canalys Principal Analyst Daryl Chiam.

Smartphones are called ‘smart’ because, like a computer, it has a distinct operation system — often provided by a company separate from the phone manufacturer. Such a standard operating system allows third-party software, such as messengers and enterprise apps, to be used on the phone.

Of course, Singapore sees only around 3 million handsets sold a year, compared to around 150-200 million sold in India.

HTC has been a major gainer in the whole transition towards smartphones in Singapore. Traditionally, the South East Asian market, like India, has been a stronghold of Nokia.

Canalys points out that other vendors are pushing in to occupy the high end of the mobile phone market as Nokia struggles to cope with its transition from Symbian to Windows operating system. Canalys, however, does not expect a significant and permanent damage to occur to Nokia from this intervening period of transition.

“Once Nokia is through this transitional period and has delivered a Windows Phone-based product portfolio across several price points, it will re-establish itself as a formidable force in the smart phone market,” said Chiam. “Until then, other manufacturers will be looking to fill the gap,” she adds.