GfK Asia released the results of a survey conducted in several countries in Southeast Asia, related to smartphone sales in the region. The survey concluded that the smartphone boom is continuing in Southeast Asia, where a total of nearly 7.7 million smartphone units were sold during the first quarter of 2012 with a value of $2.4 million. The rate of increase in smartphone sales in the region increased in the range of 70%-400% over a year ago, with the Philippines scoring the highest growth percentage.

Of course, Indonesia is the biggest market, where sales exceeded $1.4 billion (58% of total regional sales) and smartphone penetration rate reached 62% as conveyed by Gerrard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology, GfK Asia.

I’m not sure that the 62% figure is valid with regards to market penetration for smartphones in various regions in Indonesia. It is impossible (for now) for smartphones to have more sales than regular phones in Indonesia. I assume, the survey figures only reflect the conditions in major cities in Indonesia.

Malaysia and Singapore are leaders in smartphone penetration rates. In both countries the rates reached 88% or roughly, 9 out of 10 people are using smartphones. Based on direct observation in these countries, it seems to be true –with the iPhone and Android phones dominating the market.

With the total population of Southeast Asia reaching more than 600 million people and the smartphone growth in some countries in the region not having reached the saturation point, it’s an interesting point for mobile device manufacturers. This also provides mobile app developers the assurance that they need to target smartphones as it has an enormous potential.