Philippines Smartphone Market Returns to Growth in Q2 2018

Huawei (404%) and vivo (106%) were the fastest growing brands in Philippines during the quarter. Huawei enters the top five smartphone brands for the first time.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – September 6th, 2018

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, the Philippines’ smartphone market recorded 9% growth YoY during Q2 2018. The smartphone market also returned to growth in Q2 2018, after weak smartphone sales during Q1 2018. Growth in the smartphone market was due to aggressive marketing, mostly from Chinese brands.  However, the overall handset market declined 6% YoY owing to a steep decline in the feature phone segment. During Q2 2018, 76% of the total handsets sold were smartphones.

Commenting on the findings, Associate Director, Tarun Pathak said, “The Philippines smartphone market increased primarily due to the aggressive approach by Chinese OEMs as well as seasonality factors. Chinese brands such as Oppo, vivo and Huawei, with their lean portfolio and focused marketing, have gained significant consumer mind share. However, Samsung and Cherry Mobile still have a very strong hold on the local market, especially in rural areas. Together, Chinese brands now account for around 45% of the Philippines smartphone market.”

Commenting on the pricing strategies, Research Analyst, Hanish Bhatia added, “The Sub-200 USD price band captured nearly 75% of the smartphone market during Q2 2018. This is the sweet spot for the market and key focus of leading brands. Local players such as Cherry Mobile and MyPhone are now solely targeting the sub-99 USD price segment, primarily due to the aggressive approach of Chinese OEMs in the mid-tier price segments.”

Exhibit 1: Philippines Smartphone Shipments Share by Brands

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q2 2018

Market Summary (Q2 2018):

  • The smartphone segment contributed to almost 76% of total handset shipments during Q2 2018. The feature phone segment declined 35% YoY in Q2 2018, but still sells over one million handsets each quarter.
  • Samsung captured nearly one-fifth of the total smartphone market. The Galaxy J series continues to do well, contributing to over 68% of Samsung’s total shipments for the Philippines.
  • Cherry Mobile remains the second largest brand in the Philippines, driven by sales of its models like Flare J3 and S6.
  • The Chinese trio – vivo, Oppo and Huawei has gained significant market share over the last year. Vivo is riding high on the success of Y53 and Y71 at present. Meanwhile, Oppo is doing well with F7 and A83. Huawei’s Y6 and Nova Lite are also doing well in the market.
  • The Chinese onslaught has led to a significant decline of local brands such as MyPhone and Cloudfone
  • In case of Apple, it still remains an aspirational brand among consumers. Its market share declined to just 2% in Q2 2018, as compared to 5% during the same period in 2017.
  • On the operator side, both major telecom operators – Smart (PLDT) and Globe are aggressively deploying LTE base stations to enable 4G LTE connectivity to consumers across Philippines.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q2 2018 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our latest research, insights or press enquiries. 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:
Tarun Pathak
+91 997-121-3665

Hanish Bhatia
+91 987-184-9857

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Hanish is an Associate Director with Counterpoint Technology based in Toronto, Canada. He has 8+ years of industry experience in providing market research and strategic consulting across various industry sectors. He tracks developments in the mobile handset, telecom and IoT industry value chain. He brings in the vast experience of providing advisory services to OEMs & component manufacturers, network operators, private equity firms and technology companies. He played a pivotal role in helping Chinese OEMs set up their manufacturing base in India under the “Make in India” program.

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