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LATAM smartphone shipments dip 3.3% YoY to 119 million units in 2023

LATAM smartphone shipments fell 3.3% YoY to reach 119 million units in 2023, according to Counterpoint’s latest Market Monitor research. Despite the region’s strong shipment growth in H2 2023, driven by fierce competition among Chinese OEMs and upgrades from Apple, the annual numbers were constrained by the double-digit percentage shipment decline recorded in H1 2023.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Tina Lu said, “An aged installed base and an abundance of promotions stemming from fierce competition among OEMs led to YoY growth in sales. The length of the promotions was also longer in Q4 2023 versus the year-ago period. It started at the beginning of November 2023 and continued until the second week of January 2024. Geographically, Brazil and smaller markets like Central America and Venezuela saw the biggest growth. Venezuela has seen an increase in the inflow of US dollars after the US softened its sanctions on the country, which has boosted smartphone consumption. However, 5G is still not a major driver for replacement in the market. Nonetheless, in 2024 many LATAM countries will be launching 5G networks with dedicated spectrum which should drive the growth of this technology in the region. However, its share might still not surpass that of the 4G smartphone segment.”

Commenting on the performance of OEMs, Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “Samsung’s shipments decreased throughout 2023 partly because it started the year with inventory carried over from 2022. Although it is still the absolute leader in some markets, like Peru, the brand is losing its leadership position in many others. Xiaomi had the highest YoY share growth in the region among all brands. Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and other smaller countries in the region were leading this growth. However, Xiaomi still lagged in most other markets, especially Mexico. Meanwhile, Apple continued to grow in most markets in the region. In Q4 2023, Apple recorded its highest-ever quarterly volume helped by Mexico, its biggest market in the region. The shipment of the older Apple models, namely the iPhone 11 to iPhone 14 devices, did not decline even after the launch of the iPhone 15 series.“

Insights on Other Brands:

  • Motorola gained share in 2023. However, its share in Brazil declined during Q4 2023 due to Xiaomi’s growth.
  • HONOR saw the highest YoY growth in the region. Its volume more than quadrupled YoY. However, on a QoQ basis, it grew only marginally. In Peru, HONOR lost its second position to Samsung by a small margin.
  • OPPO was the third biggest brand in Mexico in 2023 and is now slowly growing in other LATAM markets as well. OPPO was the region’s fifth-biggest OEM in 2023. Its performance lagged behind HONOR in Q4 2023.

Counterpoint expects the region’s smartphone TAM to see a low-single-digit percentage increase in 2024. Most LATAM markets will likely grow during 2024, except Argentina, which will continue to decrease due to the persisting severe macroeconomic crisis in the country. Chinese brands will increase their competitive intensity in 2024 and squeeze share from more established brands like Motorola and even Xiaomi. Counterpoint Research

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