Colombia's Q1 2023 Smartphone Shipments Hit Three-year Low

  • Samsung and Apple resilient to the quarterly drop amid market concentration.
  • Motorola and ZTE suffered the most with double-digit declines.
  • HONOR and OPPO best performers among the Chinese brands.

Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – May 20, 2023

Colombia’s Q1 2023 smartphone shipments fell 9% YoY. Its worst quarterly volume since Q1 2020, according to the latest report from Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service. The country’s quarterly shipments were hurt by weakened demand resulting from rising inflation and political uncertainties. Overall, smartphone shipments in the LATAM region are on the decline, falling 9% YoY in Q1 2023.

Commenting on the market trend, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “The ongoing market concentration shows which brands are better positioned, and the results are not a surprise. Samsung and Apple increased their shipment share by 50 and 30 basis points, respectively, in Q1 2023. When consumers are skeptical of the future, they will go to recognized brands and OEMs know this. Nevertheless, HONOR and OPPO, who are trying to grow their presence in Colombia, burst into the market by more than doubling their shipment YoY.”

Colombia Shipment Share Q1 2023 vs Q1 2022

Colombia smartphone shipments Press Release Q1 2023Source: Counterpoint Research Q1 2023 Market Monitor

Research Analyst Andres Silva noted, “In Q1 2023, inventory carried over from 2022 on the operator channel and weighed on Xiaomi and Motorola’s shipment volumes, which declined 18% YoY and 65% YoY, respectively. The excessive inventory led to Back-to-School promotions where two devices were bundled for the price of one, a very unusual offer on this channel”.

Q1 2023 Market Summary

  • Samsung’s shipment volume grew 6% YoY in Q1 2023, primarily driven by the launch of the S23 series. The S23 Ultra with 256GB memory was the most prominently featured device in the new series, particularly in Claro.
  • Apple witnessed a 60% YoY increase in shipment volume during the quarter due to the delayed arrival of the iPhone 14 series in Colombia. The iPhone 11, which was Apple’s best-selling model in Colombia, also helped.
  • Xiaomi faced inventory challenges, leading to a 20-basis point decline in its shipment share. However, it remains second to Samsung. Shipments for the Note 12 series, began to pick up in late March, right before the launch at the beginning of April.
  • OPPO demonstrated an impressive quadrupling of volume YoY in Q1 2023, surpassing Motorola to become the third most important brand in Colombia. Its share jumped to 10% in Q1 2023 from 2% in Q1 2022. This OEM is focusing on growing its brand in the Colombian market.
  • Motorola experienced a significant decline in shipment volume, losing over half of its market share. The brand faced inventory issues, with the Moto G22 being the only device that was able to register strongly in the minds of Colombian consumers.
  • HONOR exhibited a remarkable hunger for a larger market share in Colombia, achieving a 200% YoY growth in shipments. It now competes closely with Motorola for the fifth position. Its share jumped to 5% in Q1 2023 from 1% in the year-ago quarter.
  • ZTE’s shipment volume, which had been improving since Q2 2022, ended its streak in Q1 2023. Promotions are still operator-focused and miss a big chunk of Colombians who purchase in the open channel despite their presence in Alkosto.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Tina Lu

 Andres Silva

Peter Richardson

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