Suryo A Soekarno, Commercial & Business Development Director at MARS Research Specialist, says more than 56 percent of respondents in the survey indicated that they replace their smartphone every two years as they seek a newer, more interesting, model. This shows that Indonesian smartphone users are eagerly following the latest developments regarding new smartphone models. Results of the survey also indicate that Indonesian consumers have become more aware about the features and applications on their smartphone - and use these to 'enrich' their lives - rather than being solely focused on the brand.

The most popular smartphone in Indonesia is a thin one, weighing 140 gram, with at least a five inch screen, dual camera, dual sim card, large internal memory, equipped with at least an 1.8 GHz processor, a battery with a minimum capacity of 2,500 mAh, and an Android operating system. Andy Gusena, Brand Director at Advan, said trends related to smartphone usage in Indonesia always follow global trends.

Complaints - ventilated by Indonesian consumers - about the smartphone generally involve the weak durability of the battery, a rapidly hot battery, and a slow browsing performance. Telecommunications expert Hasnul Suhaimi said it will be a challenge for local smartphone manufacturers to offer Indonesian smartphone users the device that is in accordance with their demands.

Read more: Indonesia is the 3rd-Largest Smartphone Market in the Asia Pacific

Smartphone penetration is still low in Indonesia. Although Indonesia has already become the third-largest smartphone market in the Asia-Pacific region (after China and India) it is estimated that less than 40 percent of Indonesia's population owns a smartphone. However, smartphone penetration is growing rapidly. According to the latest report from eMarketer, the number of smartphone users in Indonesia will grow from 55 million in 2015 to 92 million in 2019, supported by more affordable smartphones as well as the expanding 4G technology network in Indonesia and the government's Palapa Ring project.

Smartphone Growth in the Asia Pacific:

Number of Smartphone Users
(in million)
 2015 2016F 2017F 2018F 2019F
China  525.8  563.3  599.3  640.5  687.7
India  167.9  204.1  243.8  279.2  317.1
  55.4   65.2   74.9   83.5   92.0
Japan   51.8   55.8   58.9   60.9   62.6
South Korea   33.6   34.6   35.6   36.5   37.0
Philippines   26.2   29.9   33.3   36.5   39.2
Vietnam   20.7   24.6   28.6   32.0   35.2

Source: eMarketer