“A government subsidy program plus relatively uninterrupted logistics compared to neighboring ASEAN markets drove Malaysia’s market in 2021H1,” says Ahmed M. Ahmed, Market Analyst for Malaysia Mobile Devices at IDC.
Malaysia’s subsidy program for supplying low cost smartphones with a data plan via mobile network operators targeting the Bottom 40 economic group (B40) has paid off well. Digi, Celcom and Maxis are the top telecoms in Malaysia.
Samsung and Xiaomi cemented their dominance in Malaysia’s market. The smartphone shipments of Samsung and Xiaomi accounted for nearly 50 percent of all smartphones in 2021. Honor’s re-entry in late 2021 received a muted response.
IDC is forecasting a flat growth for smartphones in 2022.
Over 28 percent of smartphones shipped in Malaysia in 2021 was 5G capable despite no 5G network rollout. 5G smartphones will account for nearly 50 percent of shipments in 2023, up from 36 percent in 2022.