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In 4Q16, Ovum commissioned a survey to examine the "new digital consumer," surveying consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. This report examines the trends in device purchasing: operator versus open channel, online versus offline, and new users versus upgraders.


  • Despite relatively low purchasing power, most consumers in these countries prioritized buying an up-to-date handset, with 46% of respondents getting a new phone in the past year alone.
  • The strength of operators in the device space varies greatly over these three countries, with over half of Thai respondents getting their devices from operators while in Indonesia under a quarter of people bought their smartphone from their operator.
  • Only 7.8% of respondents purchased their smartphones from online sources across all three countries.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the differences in operator channel market share to create recommendations for improving operator device sales.
  • Profiles online device purchasers to work out if targeted approaches for this niche are necessary.
  • Evaluates the differences between new and replacement smartphone purchasers and how this will affect the overall handset market in the medium term.

Key questions answered

  • How old is the average smartphone currently in use in South East Asia?
  • Are new smartphone users significantly less likely to engage in online services?
  • Do people who buy handsets online have different purchasing priorities compared to those who buy in store?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Digital Consumer Insights 2017: Emerging Asia smartphone analysis

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