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Smartphones boost Indonesian ecommerce

News, 30 January 2015

JAKARTA: Smartphone shipments to Indonesia will grow 20% during 2015 and will give a boost to the country's ecommerce industry, according to a new forecast from research firm IDC.

Some 24.8m smartphones were shipped in 2014 and IDC expects this figure to rise to 30m this year, the Jakarta Globe reported.

"We believe this great increase in smartphone shipments will bring a positive effect to the growth of e-commerce in Indonesia," said Lutfi Avianto, senior market analyst at IDC Indonesia.

He added that that Indonesia was one of the biggest IT consumers in the Asia-Pacific region thanks to robust growth in the retail sector. And that consumption, he continued, was "backed by the lifestyle of Indonesian consumers who are increasingly using IT devices to improve their quality of life".

Indonesia currently ranks seventh in terms of countries with most smartphone users, with eMarketer estimating there were just over 38m in 2014. But it predicted this total would rise to 103m by 2018 and Indonesia would become the fourth-largest market in the world, behind China, the US and India.

The country's economic performance is a major contributor to the speed of this growth, as IDC noted annual growth of more than 5% and the increased purchasing power of consumers.

But there are other factors at work too. TechInAisa pointed to the country's development as a manufacturing base. The government has implemented policies increasing the costs of imported phones at the same time as lowering barriers to setting up smartphone factories. And labour costs are potentially half those in China. 


Samsung is reported to have recently started production in Indonesia of smartphones specifically for the domestic market, with a facility capable of turning out 900,000 units a month.

But its rivals are following hard on its heels, with Chinese brands Oppo, Haier and ZTE also intending to start or increase production in Indonesia.

Marketers will have to address the growth of smartphone usage as these currently only make up around one quarter of the country's handsets.

At a Jakarta conference last year, Vikas Gulati, vp/Southeast Asia at mobile advertising exchange Vserv, highlighted five areas where they could maximise mobile marketing results. These areas are voice, video, rich media, targeting and transactions.

Data sourced from Jakarta Globe, TechInAsia, DigiTimes, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff