KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- Smartphones are set to represent 35 per cent of the total mobile phone shipments this year compared with 30 per cent last year, International Data Corporation (IDC) said.
They are forecast to exceed 50 per cent by 2014, the market research and analysis firm specialising in information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology, said.
According to IDC's Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the growth of smartphones in the nation was due to the increasing popularity of Android handsets and decreasing prices of entry-level smartphones.
In a segment previously dominated by Apple's iPhone, the second quarter of this year saw the iOS device dethroned as the king of high-end smartphones (more than RM1,500) for the first time since the second quarter of 2010 by Samsung's Galaxy S III.
The feat is even more significant considering that the Galaxy S III only arrived in the later part of the second quarter of 2012.
However, Apple is set to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2012 when it releases its new iPhone in Malaysia.
HTC also experienced a breakout quarter in the smartphones segment, with its flagship model the One X placing third behind the iPhone.
Overall, the high-end smartphone segment grew 33 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with same period last year and IDC expects the trend to continue into 2013.
"We are witnessing a change in market dynamics. A growing number of Malaysian consumers now view Android smartphones to be as prestigious as the iPhone.
Further growth in this segment will no longer be solely dependent on Apple, but will include Android vendors, mainly Samsung, HTC and Sony, IDC said.
Falling prices of entry-level smartphones are also eroding shipments of feature phones, particularly those priced above RM200.
In the first half of 2012, 24 per cent of smartphone shipments in Malaysia were priced below RM600, up from 14 per cent in 2011