Indonesia's smartphone market surges, Transsion gains ground, Apple dominates premium segment

Joanna Gao, Taipei 0

Credit: Tim Cook

Indonesia's smartphone market is on an upward trajectory, with Transsion capturing significant market share and Apple leading in the high-end segment.

According to IDC, smartphone shipments in Indonesia soared by 27.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, reaching 10 million units. This growth rate outpaces the global average, as worldwide smartphone shipments increased by 7.8% over the same period.

In the first quarter of 2024, the top five smartphone brands in Indonesia were Oppo, Samsung Electronics, Transsion, Vivo, and Xiaomi, each holding market shares between 15% and 20%, showcasing fierce competition.

Transsion, often dubbed the "Cellphone King of Africa," saw its Indonesian shipments skyrocket by 279.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024. Globally, Transsion's shipments increased by 84.9%. The company's robust performance in emerging markets is driving growth in Indonesia's entry-level smartphone segment (under USD$200).

The mid-range smartphone market in Indonesia (USD$200-$600) posted the most significant growth, expanding by 74% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, led by Apple, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi. The share of 5G smartphone shipments rose from 17.6% in the first quarter of 2023 to 28.8% in the first quarter of 2024.

The premium smartphone market in Indonesia (over USD$600) grew by 12.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, driven by strong sales of Apple's iPhone. Despite recent lower-than-expected iPhone sales globally, Apple is increasingly focusing on growth in emerging markets. In its latest earnings call, Apple highlighted Indonesia, noting record-high revenues in the country.

The Indonesian government has been emphasizing "Made in Indonesia," creating a balancing act between attracting foreign investment and nurturing local industries.

For instance, a 2022 regulation requires that 35% of components in phones produced in Indonesian factories be sourced locally, up from 20% in 2016. Reports by Rest of World suggest that Chinese companies like Oppo and Vivo are more adaptable, establishing factories, hiring local workers, and launching culturally tailored marketing campaigns to comply with these regulations.

Conversely, while the Indonesian government seeks to attract Apple to establish manufacturing facilities to increase Indonesia's value in Apple's supply chain, Apple's CEO Tim Cook, during a recent visit, only stated that the company would "consider" such a move.

To bolster local manufacturing, the Indonesian government imposed restrictions on 4,000 imported goods starting in March 2024, requiring permits for imports, including Apple's MacBook. This led to port congestion and dissatisfaction among businesses, who criticized the move as detrimental to Indonesia's business climate. The restrictions have since been eased.