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Jakarta Post

Polytron aims for top 3 in local 4G smartphone market

  • Khoirul Amin

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 26, 2015   /  08:08 am

Local phone brand Polytron aims to become one of the top three players in the domestic 4G smartphone market, eyeing a sales-boost once the government imposes a 40 percent-local content requirement on 4G phones circulating in the country.

'€œWe want to become a top-three brand in the country'€™s 4G handset [smartphone] market,'€ said Usun Pringgodigdo, mobile phone division general manager at PT Sarana Kencana Mulya, the official distributor of Polytron products.

Polytron has already sold-out of its 6,000-unit stock of 4G-ready smartphones called ZAP 5, he said.

He went on to say that Polytron would produce more 4G smartphones in the future to meet rising demand.

Santo Kadarusman, public relations and marketing event manager of PT Hartono Istana Teknologi '€” a Polytron brand holder '€” said previously that his firm planned to add a new production facility in June this year, which would help it produce 300,000 units a month.

Assuming the firm can reach such a production capacity, some 3.6 million phones would be produced a year, of which 70 percent, or 2.52 million units, would be smartphones, and the remaining 30 percent feature phones, he said.

Santo said a third of the firm'€™s smartphone production would be for the ZAP 4G series.

'€œHowever, if the demand for ZAP is excellent due to its price of Rp 1.09 million, we will manufacture more of them and slash production of our non-4G smartphones,'€ he told The Jakarta Post.

Usun added that Polytron had already achieved 35 percent local content for its 4G smartphones, with the calculation based on a current ministry regulation on local content.

Under Industry Ministry Decree No. 69, local content of a product is calculated 80 percent from the manufacturing process and 20 percent from the development process, he said.

The Communications and Information Ministry stated previously that it planned to require 4G smartphone manufacturers to have at least 40 percent local content by 2017.

Details on how to calculate the local content are still being discussed with the Industry Ministry and the Trade Ministry.

Most 4G smartphones currently available on the market are manufactured by global players like Apple, Samsung and Sony '€” companies that are unlikely to have yet met the 40 percent-local content requirement.

As such, Polytron will likely gain a larger share of the country'€™s 4G smartphone market.

Besides Polytron, local electronics component maker PT Sat Nusapersada, which assembles smartphones for various brands, plans to boost its smartphone production to 3 million units a month, with an investment of between US$8 million to $10 million.

In this year alone, the Industry Ministry has estimated that 4G smartphones will account for only 5 percent of the total number of imported smartphones.

Total smartphone shipment to the country will hit 30 million units this year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Both telecommunications players and analysts have said the availability of affordable 4G smartphones will determine the level of 4G/LTE adoption in the country.

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