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Philippines smartphone shipments fall 9% YoY in Q1 2023

Smartphone shipments in the Philippines experienced a decline of 9% YoY in Q1 2023, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Monthly Philippines Smartphone Tracker. The decline was driven by high inflation during the quarter, which impacted consumer sentiment and purchasing power. Q1 2023 also saw high inventory levels as fewer consumers bought smartphones after the festival season in Q4 2022 and as inflation climbed up.

Philippines smartphone shipments tracker

During the quarter, realme captured 21% of the market to overtake Samsung as the top brand. The major reason for this was Samsung’s 33% YoY decline, which helped realme reach the top spot. Other factors included offers on realme’s C series smartphones as part of its Lazada 2.2 sale. The realme 10 was also one of the top-performing models for the brand. Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G, A04 and A04e were the best performers for the brand. But due to high inventory levels, Samsung’s overall shipments decreased.

The brands which witnessed YoY growth included Infinix (59%), Xiaomi (22%) and Apple (22%). Infinix’s Hot series was particularly popular in the gaming world. For Xiaomi, the 12 series and Redmi’s A series proved to be popular, driving growth for the brand. Despite inflationary pressures, Apple registered a YoY growth due to the popularity of the iPhone 14 series in the country.

Smartphones priced less than $200 held more than half of the market shipments in Q1 2023.holding a combined share of almost 60%. Shipments in the $200-$400 and $400-$600 price bands saw a decline of 22% and 24% respectively. Many prospective consumers held on to their existing models and avoided any discretionary expenditure. OPPO led the $400-$600 band due to the popularity of the Reno 8T. Introductory offers for the Reno 8T, like free OPPO EncoBuds 2, worked in its favour. Other offers in Q1 2023, such as the Payday Sale, Super Brand Day and 2.2 Sale, are likely to have made OPPO smartphones more attractive for consumers. Premium segments (above $600) saw a 14% YoY increase in shipments driven by the iPhone 14 series.

5G smartphones recorded a positive YoY growth at 14%. It is particularly relevant to note that the 5G smartphones in the $200-$400 price band witnessed a 20% YoY growth along with an increase in their share in the band. This also implies that 5G smartphone shipments are becoming the norm as compared to LTE smartphones whose YoY sales reduced by 17%.

Telecom operators are adapting accordingly. Smart was the top operator for 5G services in the Philippines in Q1 2023. To provide 5G internet with satcom support, Smart and Omnispace have teamed together. Globe has reportedly managed to expand the reach of its 5G network to 70 cities. Counterpoint Research

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