And with the added inflation, low salary, and heavy import duties, it’s no surprise.
According to iPrice in its July report, showed that smartphones in the Philippines are one of the least affordable in comparison to a Filipino’s working salary.
iPrice is a commerce aggregator and it also has its own research team. The aggregator compared the pricing of four known smartphone brands — Samsung, Oppo, Apple, and Vivo, on their line of budget, midrange, and flagship devices based on the monthly salaries in select SEA countries. Notably, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.
For the average working-class Filipino, it would take a minimum of two months for midrangers, and three for higher-end phones. In the chart above, Singapore maintains the fastest and highest quality of life, as an average person in the country can purchase a phone in less than a month versus the typical salary.
Consumers in SEA usually pay for a fixed contract with the company’s local telco which they pay in installments monthly. Another method consumers use is the “Buy Now, Pay Later” tactic as it seems to be a more financial option if one cannot pay in full immediately.
“Low affordability in these markets contrasts with markets such as Malaysia and Singapore where entry-level smartphones cost a third of a month’s salary or less. In the same countries, high-end smartphones were more affordable, costing around one month’s salary or less,” iPrice said.
The study is not limited to just income levels alone. Several factors are included as well, including the pricing of an average smartphone in the selected countries as well as the manufacturer’s retail price (MRP).
The group tapped onto its catalog of 7.5 billion offers from e-commerce, buyers, marketplaces, and brands and then compared actual smartphone pricing from over 250,000 smartphone listings.
Even budget phones — phones priced less than Php7,000, are still an expensive investment from customers in Indoneisa, Philippines, and Vietnam.