Google Malaysia Industry Head Su Ann Lim says Malaysians are increasingly conscious and deliberate about their smartphone research. Pix by Rohanis Shukri

KUALA LUMPUR: Price is no longer the determining factor for mobile users in making smartphone purchase.

Google Malaysia Industry Head Su Ann Lim says Malaysians are increasingly conscious and deliberate about their smartphone research.

“So many smartphones are being launched every year and consumers understand what every brand stands for.

“Online research is arguably the most important part of the purchase journey and it’s where Malaysian consumers spend the most of their time on.

“Our study also reveals that Malaysians care less about the price, instead, focusing more on the phone factors such as the camera mechanism, battery life, and operating system,” she says.

The top research activities cited are: (1) searching and reading online device reviews and watching YouTube product reviews, (2) visiting brand and product sites, and (3) comparing prices and specs on e-commerce sites.

As for purchase factors, the top three cited by Malaysians surveyed when choosing their next smartphone are battery life, operating system (Android, iOS or other) and internal specs (RAM, processor, durability).

Other factors surveyed and ranked included: affordability, camera quality, brand reputation, trusted reviews, promotions and discounts, and device availability.

The study also found that while majority of Malaysians hold on to their smartphones for longer than two years, 1 in 2 Malaysians aspires to change his or her phones in less than 2 years.

Additionally, 1 out of 5 Malaysians is a brand loyalist who is hard to sway from his or her current choice. What’s more, 1 in 10 Malaysians is in-store decider who only decides which phone to buy at the physical store.

Lim adds that rural consumers are also increasingly empowered by e-commerce, giving broader choice and ease of transaction.

The study was conducted together with market research company Ipsos on 929 respondents aged 18 to 45 years old, with an equal mix of the rural and urban consumers.