Component Shortages Hit LATAM Smartphone Market Growth in Q3 2021

  • LATAM’s smartphone market saw 0.7% YoY and 3.1% QoQ growth in Q3 2021.
  • Motorola’s share increased 3.4% points while Samsung’s share decreased 9.7% points.

Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – November 29, 2021

The LATAM smartphone market is heating up with the arrival of more players. In the last year, at least five new brands entered the region. Despite this, the market grew only 0.7% YoY and 3.1% QoQ in Q3 2021, impacted by the ongoing component shortages.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said: “For the past two or three years, LATAM has been a highly concentrated market. New brands entering the market are driving this concentration down a few points. A more open market benefits a consumer by providing more choices at competitive prices. This trend will most likely continue as an increasing number of brands see growth prospects in LATAM. The Brazilian and Argentinian markets are the least open in the region, as they require local manufacturing. Therefore, Brazil’s market was the most affected by the component shortages that impacted the smartphone manufacturing/assembling industry in Q2 2021 and further deepened in Q3 2021.”

Lu added, “Samsung’s shipments were impacted by Brazil and Vietnam factory woes. As a result, its market share reached the lowest in the previous seven quarters. Samsung continued to be the leader in the region, but this volume drop allowed its closest competitor Motorola to narrow the gap. Motorola is improving its product availability in the region. It continued to lead the Mexican market while improving its position in Argentina and Brazil.”

Counterpoint Research LATAM smartphone market share Q3 2021
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q3 2021

Commenting on brand performance, Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “OPPO managed to outsell Apple in Q3 2021 to become one of the five top-selling brands in the region. This is the first time that this Chinese OEM, which re-entered LATAM last year, is in the region’s bestseller chart. The brand saw rapid growth in Mexico. OPPO is growing beyond the Mexican market, but it needs to build the branding in these markets, which is more challenging compared to Mexico.”

Market Summary

  • Samsung dropped almost 10% points in its LATAM share. Its volume decreased in almost every major country in the region except for Argentina and Peru.
  • Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina were the biggest markets for Samsung in terms of sales volume.
  • Motorola led the Mexican market and was a strong second in Argentina and Brazil. In all the other LATAM countries, its second position was challenged by Xiaomi.
  • Xiaomi’s shipments almost doubled YoY. However, its volume dropped compared to the previous quarter. This was the first quarter in the last three years (except the COVID-19-hit Q2 2020) that this Chinese brand saw a QoQ drop.
  • Xiaomi wants to position itself as the leading 5G brand in LATAM. It launched the Redmi Note 10 5G during the quarter with very aggressive pricing.
  • Xiaomi is a close leader in Colombia and a strong second player in Chile and Peru. It is focusing on becoming the leader in these three countries.
  • ZTE almost doubled its volume YoY. Mexico is its biggest market. It is also focusing on growing in Colombia and Peru in the operator channel.
  • OPPO continued to stay aggressive in Mexico. It has now expanded to Colombia. But here OPPO will have to work on its brand recognition, so it might take longer to make an impact.
  • Apple’s volume decreased due to seasonality. The iPhone 13 was launched in most of LATAM in October. On the other hand, there were reports of the iPhone 12 facing big shortages.
  • vivo is aggressively expanding its presence in the region. It is now growing beyond Colombia and Mexico and has officially entered Chile. But it still needs to build its branding in the region.
  • The “others” category, especially the “Local Kings”, was impacted once again by the ongoing component shortages.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) 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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