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Philippine smartphone market looks ahead to double-digit growth in 2022

According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the Philippines smartphone market declined by 5.6% year-on-year (YoY) shipping 17.8 million units in 2021. The recurring lockdowns and global supply constraints in the second half of 2021 hampered the market’s growth with several vendors struggling to fulfill orders during the holiday season, resulting in low inventories across the channels.

The last quarter of the year dropped by 23.3% YoY even as shipments increased 18.4% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) during the peak holiday shopping period. The gradual reopening of retail shops resulted in more consumers buying through physical stores. IDC is optimistic of a double-digit growth in the smartphone market in 2022 as the market recovers from a weak 2021H2 and as supply constraints ease.

“With the rollout of 5G networks across the country, the growth will be driven by 5G smartphones, which made up 12.7% of shipments in 2021. The share is expected to double in 2022. In addition, aggressive pricing among Chinese vendors has dragged the average price for 5G Android smartphones down from US$471 in 4Q20 to US$386 in 4Q21, with some 5G models priced less than US$200,” says Angela Medez, Client Devices Market Analyst at IDC Philippines.

Philippines Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, Q4 2021 (shipments in thousands)
Company 2021Q4 Shipments 2021Q4 Market Share 2020Q4 Shipments 2020Q4 Market Share YOY Growth
1. realme 1,030 20.6% 1,097 16.9% -6.1%
2. vivo 798 16.0% 1,068 16.4% -25.3%
3. Transsion 725 14.5% 977 15.0% -25.8%
4. OPPO 699 14.0% 1,168 17.9% -40.2%
5. Samsung 642 12.9% 545 8.4% 17.7%
Others 1,100 22.0% 1,652 25.4% -33.4%
Total 4,995 100.0% 6,509 100.0% -23.3%
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2021Q4
Philippines Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, 2021 (shipments in millions)
Vendor 2021 Shipment 2021 Market Share 2020 Shipment 2020 Market Share YOY Growth
1. realme 3.96 22.2% 3.66 19.4% 7.9%
2. OPPO 2.62 14.7% 2.61 13.8% 0.3%
3. Transsion 2.47 13.8% 1.70 9.0% 45.1%
4. Samsung 2.40 15.3% 1.90 10.0% 27.3%
5. vivo 2.39 13.4% 3.35 17.7% -28.8%
Others 4.00 22.4% 5.68 30.1% -29.6%
Total 17.83 100.0% 18.90 100.0% -5.6%
Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2021Q4

“The feature phone market shrank by 41% YoY from 3.9 million in 2020 to only 2.3 million in 2021, its largest decline ever due to the shrinking footprint of local vendors and slower traction in the market for feature phones as telcos migrated consumers to 4G and 5G,” she added.

“Shipments to retail channels are expected to bounce back in 2022, as foot traffic continues to increase in the shopping malls, where most of the key smartphone stores and kiosks are located in the larger cities. The vendors are expected to restart their retail expansion and open more stores across the country, which had taken a hiatus during the lockdown periods,” she added.

Philippines Top 5 Smartphone Company Highlights (4Q21)

realme clinched the top spot for the fourth consecutive quarter, accounting for 20.6% of the smartphone market and growing by 7.9% QoQ, driven by the C-series that accounted for more than 70% of its total shipments.

vivo climbed to the second spot with two newly launched models, the Y15A and Y15s, accounting for half of its total shipments. Despite a 25.3% decline compared to last year due to supply challenges, vivo managed to pull through by almost doubling its shipments QoQ in 4Q21. In the same quarter, vivo launched two 5G models in the mid-range (US$200<US$400) price segment with prices averaging at only US$353.

Transsion took the third spot and 14.5% share with both the Tecno and Infinix brands launching multiple new models towards the end of the year. Infinix, in particular, grew by 14.7% YoY as it expanded its channel reach by opening more kiosks outside of Manila.

Despite declining by 40.2% YoY and 3.4% QoQ, OPPO secured the fourth spot by increasing its focus on the low-end (US$100<US$200) segment growing by 19.7% QoQ, accounting for almost 80% of its total shipments. The introduction of the A16k and A55 models dragged its average price down to US$178 versus US$203 in 3Q21.

Samsung secured the fifth spot growing by 17.7% YoY and 11.7% QoQ, holding 12.9% of the market. Samsung almost doubled its 5G smartphone shipments with its prices dropping by 37.4% compared to last year when it launched its first 5G model. The A-series continued to drive its overall shipments.

CT Bureau

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