SINGAPORE: Smartphone sales are rising rapidly in several key fast-growth economies across Asia, new figures show.

Research firm GfK Asia reported 19.8m mobile handsets were purchased in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam during the first three months of 2011.

This amounted to revenues of $3bn, as volume sales climbed by 10% on a quarterly basis and financial returns rose 8% over the equivalent period.

Within the broader totals, buyers in the markets assessed snapped up 3.4m smartphones, a 30% jump measured against Q4 2010, and worth $1.5bn, a 22% expansion.

Offerings using Google's Android operating system contributed almost 580,000 of the smartphones acquired by shoppers in the timeframe under consideration, a 77% leap.

Alternatives, such as Apple's iPhone, witnessed a 23% improvement, to 2.9m units.

"Major manufacturers have been embracing the Android OS for their smartphones in recent times," said Gerard Tan, GfK Asia's regional account director for telecoms.

"At the same time, it helps that Android smartphones have become increasingly appealing to consumers due to its user friendly interface and wide range of applications available."

In contrast, feature phones saw demand rise by a modest 6%, to 16.3m devices, while the combined value of these transactions fell 3%, suggestive of "eroding" pricing power, GfK said.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff