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Does Price Influence A Smartphone’s Popularity?

A lot of factors may be considered into purchasing a phone, and price is one of the biggest considerations of every consumer

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

We may have a general idea on which smartphone brands dominate the Philippine market, but the results of the most searched smartphone brands online may come as a surprise. With the hype of the iPhone SE globally, you may think Apple is the most popular phone brand in the country right now, but what makes a smartphone brand popular in a market anyway?

A lot of factors may be considered into purchasing a phone, and price is one of the biggest considerations of every consumer. Therefore, iPrice Group analysed the most popular smartphone brands in both Singapore (a country with high annual household income) and the Philippines (a country with relatively low annual household income), to see if these popular smartphones have anything to do with the brand’s prices and a household’s spending capabilities.

Counterpoint released a report on the global smartphone market share in 2019, and iPrice Group’s study used its brand list as a basis to pick which smartphones’ impressions to record from each brand’s product page in both its Singapore and the Philippine platforms (adding local brands Cherry Mobile and MyPhone for the Philippines). The study also recorded each brand’s highest and lowest priced smartphones from their official websites/marketplace. Here are 5 interesting insights from the study: 

Mid-tier smartphone, Oppo, is the most popular brand in the Philippines. According to data from the Philippine Statistical Authority, Filipinos living in Metro Manila have an annual household income of PHP460,000. It’s vital to note that Metro Manila citizens have the highest annual household income in the entire country. Hence, it is surprising that Oppo is the most searched for in iPrice’s Philippine platform, given it does not have the lowest price. Oppo’s newest flagship model, Find X2 Pro can go as high as PHP65,990, which is only 4k less than Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Its entry-level model, A5s, is certainly affordable but not the cheapest either, with a price of PHP6,990. 

The most popular brands in Singapore are the most expensive ones. Singaporeans, on the other hand, have a much higher annual household income of PHP3,984,660, according to the Department of Statistics Singapore’s report. Hence, it makes sense why the iPhone is the most searched smartphone brand in Singapore, especially since they are more likely to afford the most expensive brand. Samsung comes second for Singapore, and this phone brand records one of the highest prices for its newest flagship model as well. 

Huawei’s wide price range makes it pretty popular in both Singapore and the Philippines. Huawei Mate X is one of the most expensive smartphones, with a price of PHP139,999. However, Huawei Y5 Lite is also one of the cheapest phones (PHP3,990), which trails just behind Xiaomi’s Redmi Go (PHP2,990). Given Huawei’s wide range of expensive and cheap phones, it makes sense why it would be one of the most popular brands in both the Philippines and Singapore. 

Big Brands Samsung and iPhone aren’t as widely searched for in the Philippines. Mid-tier brands like Oppo and Vivo thrive better in a country like the Philippines. Although a number of Filipinos still use iPhone and Samsung, they’re still not as widely searched for in other markets like Singapore. Not all Filipinos are able to afford the flagship models of these brands. That said, the iPhone and Samsung are still well-known in the country; they’re just not the most popular. 

Xiaomi is becoming a rising new competitor. Xiaomi is more searched than Vivo and Oppo in Singapore. Given that this brand’s headquarters is located in Singapore, it may contribute to the country’s awareness of it. However, Xiaomi’s success should not only be attributed to that. In the Philippines, this suddenly emerged and it continues to gain popularity today. Cherry Mobile and MyPhone once dominated the market for cheap phones but are now being overtaken by Xiaomi. This goes to show how Xiaomi’s objective to provide the public affordable, good quality smartphones is being fulfilled. 

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iPrice curates highly insightful data that are unique and unbiased in the world of tech, e-commerce, and online retail by providing data-rich, interactive, and media-specific targeted content that varies from the latest tech trends to the top e-players in Southeast Asia. They also provide high-quality country-specific insights and data on seven markets, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Through collaborations with data partners such as App Annie Intelligence, SimilarWeb, and Parcel Perform, iPrice has been featured on numerous prominent publications including South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, Motley Fool, Nasdaq, IGN, and Tech Crunch, to name a few.

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