Smartphone sales in Thailand soared in first quarter

Global smartphone makers are beyond pleased during the first quarter of this year as sales in Thailand soared by 70 percent, which have been spurred by new models and a government’s multiple COVID-19 stimulus packages to boost consumption in the Kingdom.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), a tech market research firm, smartphone shipments to Thailand surged to 6.35 million units, which increases 34 percent from the previous quarter.

Thais chose to upgrade their smartphones or switched to a smartphone to be able to receive financial assistance from the government through the Paotang (wallet in Thai) mobile application in the forms of handouts more conveniently through e-wallets.

The Paotang mobile application is a digital money wallet owned by a state-owned bank under license issued by the Ministry of Finance, Krungthai Bank, or KTB.

To stimulate the economy, the Thai government has launched a few plans to help people and small business owners. One example is a stimulus plan named “We Travel Together,” which aims to help tourism industry –one of the pillars of the Thai economy. In this stimulus plan, Thai citizens may opt-in a government-subsidized program and apply for cash rebates on their flights and hotel bookings. the amount will then be credited to the traveller’s Paotang e-wallet account.

This resulted in strong demand in the low-end smartphone segment. And since mobile operators are focusing more on 5G handsets rather than 4G, especially mid-range 5G smartphones, this will also drive the shift from 4G to 5G to be at a faster pace in Thailand.