Colombian Smartphone Market Continues to Grow in Q1 2019

Huawei was the fastest growing brand (76% YoY growth including HONOR co-brand), surpassing Motorola to become the second largest brand in Colombia

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – May 22nd, 2019

Smartphone shipments in Colombia grew 2% year-on-year but declined 26% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) during Q1 2019, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. The sequential fall was primarily due to extraordinary volumes in the previous quarter driven by the Christmas holiday season.

Commenting on the findings, Senior Analyst, Tina Lu said, “Four out of top five brands in Colombia have increased shipment volumes YoY during Q1 2019.  This is driving consolidation in the market. Top five smartphones brand in Colombia, represented more than 77% of the market, a nearly eight-percentage point increase YoY. This leaves more than 40 brands to fight for the remaining 23% of the market. The device market is already looking very crowded.  For any new brand seeking to enter Colombia, it might not be an easy task.”

Commenting further, Tina noted, “The Colombian market was one of the few markets in LATAM that has been growing YoY every single quarter during 2018. Most of the top five brands have increased shipment volumes compared to the previous year, driven by new users and replacements. Smartphone penetration in Colombia was below 65% at the end of 2018. Therefore, there will be new users that would offset replacement slow down. As a result, it still had room to resist the global smartphone market decline. Smartphone growth is also pushing the feature phone segment to a sharp decline.”

Commenting on the pricing strategies, Research Analyst, Parv Sharma, added, “Low-end smartphones dominated the Colombian market.  During Q1 2019, eight out of 10 smartphones were below US$200. However, smartphone shipments in the <US$100 price band decreased 11% YoY, while those in the US$100-US$200 price band has grown around 29%. Huawei and Motorola were the main drivers for the growth in this segment. Apple and Samsung controlled the premium segment.”


Exhibit 1: Colombia Smartphone Market Share by Brand, 2018 Q1 vs 2019 Q1

Source: Counterpoint Market Monitor Q1 2019

  • Samsung is the absolute leader in the Colombian market with a 30% share, an increase of more than one percentage point share compared to the previous year.
  • Samsung’s ASP increased by 16%, driven by growing volumes in the flagship and mid-to-high price band.
  • Huawei’s sales volumes (excluding HONOR co-brand) have grown 60% YoY in Q1 2019, and it has become the second largest smartphone brand in Colombia.
  • Huawei’s co-brand, HONOR, launched in Colombia during H2 2018. It has already managed to capture more than 1% of the Colombian market.
  • Huawei migrated its portfolio to lower price bands. Its success was a combination of the excellent product lineup, very aggressive pricing, and heavy investment in channel management.
  • Motorola has managed to increase shipments slightly despite Huawei’s aggressive push.
  • With Motorola entering Comcel during 2018, it gave the brand extra boost to maintain its share.
  • Alcatel’s share deteriorated in 2018, especially in the smartphone category. It was one of the many brands that were deeply affected by Huawei.
  • Lanix was the best-selling local brand. However, its volume decreased by half YoY.
  • Local Kings got demoted to mainly supplying feature phones and 3G smartphones. They lost market share to the increasing number of Chinese brands.
  • LTE capable smartphones grew 22% YoY driven by more affordable LTE enabled devices and replacements.
  • Smartphone ASP has grown almost 13% YoY, boosted by Samsung and Huawei.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q1 2019 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our in-depth latest research, insights or press inquiries.

For in-depth analysis of the Colombian market, including channel landscape, this report: “Colombia: A Telecom Market Undergoing Transformation” is available for subscribing clients.

The Market Monitor research is based on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendor’s IR results, vendor polling triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.


Analyst Contacts:

Tina Lu


Parv Sharma

Peter Richardson


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