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Meizu joins Chinese smartphone invasion in Thailand

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  • Meizu joins Chinese smartphone invasion in Thailand

    Competition in Thailand's smartphone market is hotting up with the entry of yet another Chinese phone maker.

    The move by Meizu Technologies comes after its biggest Chinese rival, Xiaomi, appears to have retreated from its earlier high profile in the local market.

    Two operators from China, Huawei Technologies and Vivo, launched in Thailand last year, followed by ZTE in the past few months.

    Their arrival long after Oppo and Lenovo, the two Chinese brands that have established themselves here, have turned up the heat on the Chinese smartphone market, especially when demand is shrinking due to the sluggish economy.

    Chakris Oranwongsakul, general manager of Sino Siam FF Trading, the local representative of Meizu Technologies, said the Chinese phone maker decided to enter Thailand as it had plans to expand further in Asean after entering Indonesia and Vietnam.

    "We are conservative about marketing, focusing on quality and offering competitive prices, which are nearly 50% lower than our major rivals," he said.

    Sino Siam began selling its mobile phones online through Lazada for two months after having a distribution network through brick-and-mortar shops.

    IDC Thailand estimates that the Thai smartphone market was the largest in Southeast Asia, valued at 149 billion baht in August, and the second largest after Indonesia in terms of units at 22 million.

    Michael Jing, director of device business at Huawei Technologies (Thailand), said despite the economic downturn, the company had earmarked 500 million baht for marketing and advertising to gain a 5% share of the market, which would sell 15 million smartphones this year.

    Phone makers are shifting focus to the mid-range segment between 7,000 and 15,000 baht to avoid competition in the low-end segment dominated by house brand operators. The mid-priced segment accounts for 60% of the overall smartphone market.

    Sirichai Larbmahanond, channel operation account director at Brightstar Thailand, the local arm of US-based Brightstar Corporation, said although the smartphone market was oversupplied, there were still opportunities for newcomers with innovation and marketing gimmicks. Thais like to change mobile phones every 18-24 months and many will migrate to 3G- and 4G-enabled phones.

    Nutchanon Boonsorn, associate market analyst at IDC Thailand, said half the local smartphone market came from mobile operators offering affordable smartphones to attract 3G and 4G customers.


    I don't know if its only me but every where I go all I tend to see are people holding their Samsung mobile phones

    ↂ if there was a clock in my under pants, it would be at high noon ↂ
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