- Samsung remained the region’s absolute leader with a 41.7% market share. It is also the leader in all markets in the region.
- OPPO’s volume grew 88% YoY, the highest growth among leading brands in the region.
- Brazil, Mexico, and Chile suffered the largest YoY declines.
Buenos Aires, San Diego, Denver, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing – May 11, 2023
LATAM smartphone shipments fell 9.9% YoY in Q1 2023 on weak consumer demand, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service. After a dismal Q4 of 2022, things did not change in the first quarter of 2023. Traditionally, Q1 is one of the slowest quarters of the year as the southern hemisphere’s summer recess falls during this quarter. Shipments usually begin to be taken in March in preparation for the Mother’s Day sales season in May. However, weak demand this year has affected shipments.
Commenting on market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “High inflation, low economic growth, and some social unrest that continued from 2022 have affected consumer confidence in the region. 5G smartphones have failed to attract consumers in large enough numbers to accelerate the replacement rate. But still, the region’s 5G smartphone portfolio increased by more than 21% even though the share of 5G smartphones only improved a few points since December. It’s still unclear whether the LATAM consumer wants a 5G smartphone or will buy it because it’s the best option available.”
Top Market Share of Smartphone OEMs in Latin America, Q1 2023 vs Q1 2022
Source: Market Monitor
Commenting on the performance of OEMs in the region, Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “As the smartphone market continues to decline, most leading brands have been able to increase their share and volume equally. With top brands having better product availability and deeper pockets to run promotions, smaller brands are pushed to the bottom. However, the overall inventory situation has continued to improve.”
- Samsung’s volume and share in the region declined YoY, impacted by the overall market decline. However, the brand segment improved QoQ. In Q1 2022, Samsung began an aggressive volume of shipments that continued into Q2 and resulted in high inventories that lasted until the end of 2022, affecting the brand’s shipments in H2 2022. This year, more cautious Samsung and did not produce such a large amount of inventory.
- The launch of the refreshed A series allowed Samsung to remain the region’s absolute leader with a 41.7% share, more than double that of its nearest competitor.
- The launch of the S23 series enabled Samsung to remain the value leader in the region. Samsung ran an aggressive promotional campaign for the launch of the S23 series, and it was rewarded with better performance than last year’s S22 series. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are the markets driving this growth.
- Xiaomi also gained volume and share. Its growth was driven by the launch of the A2 model in February and the Note 12 model in April (shipments of the model began in March). The brand has also managed to partially resolve the issues it faces in Mexico.
- Xiaomi is trying to push its premium models, but the response from end users has been lukewarm so far.
- Apple’s volume and share also increased YoY. The iPhone 11, a 4G model, drove its growth in the region.
- Apple has aggressively driven sales by offering a memory upgrade on the iPhone 14 and some subsidies for many of its products.
- OPPO continued to grow, with its share more than doubling YoY. Its volume grew by 88% YoY, the highest growth among leading brands in the region. Entering the region three years ago, OPPO has already consolidated its position in the top three in Mexico. It now aims to grow its share in Colombia and Peru.
- OPPO is also set to increase its share in the premium segment by launching the Find N2 Flip in the region. This is the third OEM to launch a flip model in the region.
- ZTE’s volume continued its decline from 2022. It is one of the brands affected by the regional decline.
- Smaller and regional brands continued to decline. They are squeezed by the deep pockets of big brands and new entrants.
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