LATAM Smartphone Shipments Swing to Double-digit Growth in Q3 2023 to End Four-Quarter Decline Streak

  • LATAM smartphone shipments rose 11% YoY in Q3 2023 to end the four-quarter decline streak.  
  • Samsung continues as the absolute leader in the region, with a 35.1% share.   
  • HONOR is up 123% YoY, the biggest growth in the region.  

Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – November 9, 2023 

LATAM smartphone shipments increased 10.9% YoY in Q1 2023 after four straight quarters of decline, according to Counterpoint Research’s Q3 2023 Market Monitor Service. Smartphone shipments in the region are finally returning to growth. It increased by 8.7% QoQ.  

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Most of the top-selling brands saw an increase in volume in Q3 2023. This growth was driven by OEMs starting their shipment early for the holiday season, which starts in November for most of the countries in the region. Some OEMs have also shifted their strategy to increase the availability of entry-level price band models, sacrificing value for volume. Brazil, Mexico, and some Central American countries were driving the growth of the region. Brazil’s local manufacturing continued to decrease. However, the grey market managed to fill this gap and even expand the market.” 

Research Analyst Andres Silva added: “Despite the growth in shipments, smartphone sell-through/sales have not yet rebounded. Consumer demand is still low in most of the countries in the region. Q3 is traditionally a slow quarter as there are fewer promotions and no major festivals, except for Father’s Day in Brazil in August. Although LATAM’s economic growth in 2023 has been slightly higher than forecast, the recovery has not driven consumers toward a faster rate of smartphone replacement.” 

Source: Market Monitor 

Q3 2023 Market Summary 

  • Samsung remained the region’s absolute smartphone market leader. It invested in massive advertising in the region for the Z Flip 5 and Z Folder 5 during the quarter. However, its sales and share declined YoY. The brand has been losing share in the region, following efforts to limit the lower-end segment to push for higher-price-tag models. However, Samsung’s entry-level model shipments were increasing by the end of the quarter. This might lead to an increase in the brand’s share during the holiday season.   
  • Motorola’s volume increased but its share declined YoY. This was because a year ago, it did not have enough availability of the low-price models. This year, it has ample supply of the E series, which is driving its shipment volume.  
  • Xiaomi’s volume and share both grew YoY. Xiaomi improved its shipment in most markets.  In Mexico, the growth was driven by its improving relationship with Telcel. Meanwhile, the grey market was still driving the brand’s growth in Brazil and other smaller countries in the region. 
  • Apple’s volume and share increase were driven by the iPhone 11 and increasing promotions. The OEM has been handing out promotions prior to the launch of the iPhone 15. The new launch did not influence the Q3 2023 market as Mexico was the only country in the region to have the iPhone 15 launched at the same global launch date (September 22). Brazil and Colombia got it on September 29, while the rest got it in October.  
  • HONOR more than doubled its volume YoY, registering the fastest growth in the region. HONOR increased its share by making its smartphones available on most of the sales channels. It has also entered small markets overlooked by big OEMs. However, it still needs to build its branding. HONOR continued to increase its sales during the quarter. Its main markets were Mexico, Colombia, Central America, and Peru. 
  • OPPO has also been growing at a fast pace. However, most of its sales are still concentrated in Mexico due to which it has lost its place in the region’s top-selling list.   
  • ‘Others’ continued to drop YoY as the new Chinese entrants continued to push the regional brands to extinction.  

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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.

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