Smartphone sales in PH to stay sluggish for rest of 2023
MANILA -Demand for smartphones is seen to be tepid for the rest of the year after seeing a decline in sales in the first quarter as Filipinos hold off purchases amid high consumer prices, according to International Data Corp. (IDC).
Angela Medez, client devices senior market analyst at IDC Philippines, said the local smartphone market might still not regain its momentum this year.
“Though it seems that the market has finally bottomed out and is on its road to recovery with inflation finally slowing down, IDC anticipates shipments to remain flat in 2023 as vendors will remain cautious with inflation still above comfortable levels,” she said in a recent statement.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that inflation in April reached 6.6 percent, higher than the 4.9 percent in the same month last year but lower than the 6.6 percent in March.
The IDC forecast was given after the Philippine smartphone market registered a 16.7-percent quarter-on-quarter and 11-percent year-on-year decline in the first quarter.
In the first three months, smartphone shipments amounted to 3.5 million units. IDC explained that market conditions have remained challenging for the sector as consumers scrimp on discretionary spending.
In January to March, Chinese mobile phone brand Transsion was the market leader, accounting for 21.3 percent of the shipments. Its sub-brand Tecno showed robust growth in the first quarter, which IDC attributed to the phone brand’s “aggressive campaigns offering new models at different price point as well as introducing its Phantom series, initiating the brand’s entry in the $500+ band.”
The brand ended the two-year streak of Realme, another Chinese brand, as the top ranking smartphone company in the country. The latter had 19.5-percent market share for the period.
Completing the top five brands were Oppo with 15.5 percent; Vivo, 13.1 percent; and Xiaomi, 11.9 percent. The remaining 21.3 percent comprised other brands.
For last year, IDC reported that local smartphone shipments declined by 8.6 percent to 16.3 million units as heightened inflation discouraged big-ticket spending.
Vendors slowed down their orders last year to focus on moving their inventories during the holidays.