Podcast: Online Channels Help SEA Beat COVID Blues, Attract OEMs

The South East Asia (SEA) smartphone market declined in the first half of 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns. But as the restrictions started to ease, OEMs were quick enough to focus on online channels to meet the pent-up demand. Online channels in Indonesia reached their highest point in Q4 2020, with brands like Xiaomi and realme leading online sales. Thailand’s smartphone market also saw online channels registering strong growth, leading to only a marginal overall annual decline.

With the pandemic, the market dynamics completely changed with Lazada leading the pack in the region and Shopee being the fastest-growing e-commerce platform. Smaller platforms like Bukalapak, Blibli, Akulaku and JD.ID also saw increased presence in the online space. But what were the key factors contributing to the growth? How are smartphone makers and e-commerce platforms working closely to meet consumer demand?

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza to talk about the dynamics of SEA smartphone market and growth of online channels. With COVID-19 causing disruptions in the supply chain, smartphone makers have been recalibrating and diversifying production to reduce overreliance on China. But what makes Vietnam an attractive option for smartphone makers to invest in? Glen shares some valuable insights on this topic and more.

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