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

Follow Counterpoint Research

Related Posts

High-end Smartphones in Colombia: Q2 2022 Overview

Colombia is not a target market for flagship and premium smartphones considering its characteristics. The wholesale price segment of >$500 (or >2,217.920 million Colombian Pesos*), which typically has devices with a NAND capacity higher than 64 gigabytes, RAM capacity higher than 2 gigabytes, and 4G and 5G connectivity, represented 4.4% of the sales during Q2 2022, significantly higher than the 2.2% share in Q1 2022. This means that despite the seasonality effect, more Colombian customers bought high-end smartphones. This blog discusses the leading brands’ flagship models on offer in Colombia. The open channel here is any technology retail store, and the operator channel is any operator store.

Counterpoint Research

Source: Counterpoint Market Monitor


The American brand shines with every new model launched; the iPhone 13 series is no exception. The sell-out price for these models starts at $1,950 (8,651.960 million Colombian Pesos*) for the Pro version. All iPhone models are available in the country. Apple suffered in the second quarter due to a local court’s preliminary order that bans the import and sale of all 5G devices that infringe on Ericsson’s 5G patent.


The South Korean brand has a broad high-end portfolio with the Galaxy S22 series and Z foldable series. The open channel and proprietary brick-and-mortar stores present a wider variety of models, while the operators are more constrained. Only Movistar from Telefonica sells all the above-mentioned series’ models. Sell-out prices range from $834 (3,699.900 million Colombian Pesos*) to almost $1,386 (6,149.900 million Colombian Pesos*). 


The Chinese brand has different models in the price segment. On any channel, one will find three model families — Xiaomi 11T, Xiaomi 11T Pro and the new Xiaomi 12. The only difference among channels is in the open market. One can find the POCO sub-brand only in the open market. Prices for Xiaomi’s phones in the segment range between $541 (2,399.000 million Colombian Pesos*) and $902 (3,999.000 million Colombian Pesos*).


The smallest portfolio for the segment is from Motorola. A few models are available in the Moto Edge series. However, this brand enjoys an advantage over its competitors because the new Moto Edge 30 Pro is promoted everywhere as part of a bundle with Moto Buds, which is a unique strategy in this price segment. The open market and mobile operators follow similar pricing and marketing strategies, which is also not common. Sell-out prices are $676 (2,999.900 million Colombian Pesos*) for the Edge 20 Pro and almost $744 (3,299.900 million Colombian Pesos*) for the new Moto Edge 30 Pro.

Current macroeconomic indicators like inflation and currency depreciation point to a smaller share of this price segment going forward. At the same time, other brands might enter the market and drive-up competition, bringing price benefits to the customers along with an expanded portfolio of options.

*Exchange rates may cause prices to vary

Related Posts

Chinese Brands Led by Xiaomi Dominate Colombian Smartphone Market With 65% Share

Seoul, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – October 13, 2021

Chinese brands now dominate the Colombian smartphone market, accounting for more than 65% of the market and capturing four slots in the top five brands’ list. Leading this Chinese group is Xiaomi, which had more than 26% market share in Q2 2021.

Top Chinese Smartphone OEMs’ Shipment Share, Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020

Top Chinese Smartphone OEMs’ Shipment Share, Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020

Commenting on the competitive landscape, Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “Xiaomi’s growth is the result of the brand’s aggressive push to get closer to the end customer. Since its arrival in the country in 2018, the brand has opened 12 Mi stores in different regions. Also, the company has built a strong partnership with all the big operators in the market. The strategy is to bring value-for-money devices with the latest technology. One example is the top-selling bundle in Claro — Mi 11 Lite 5G smartphone + Mi band 5 + Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic, which is available for COP 1’ 799.000 (about $470).

Motorola, although technically a Chinese brand as it is part of Lenovo, is perceived as an American brand by many Colombian consumers. It was in second place in Q2 2021 among the Chinese players in terms of shipments, which grew 27% over Q2 2020. However, since this was below the market growth, it lost 3.7% points share over the same period last year. Affected by fierce competition from new Chinese brands entering the market, such as vivo and TECNO, the company is fighting back by strengthening its marketing machinery in operator and retail channels.

vivo took the third position among the Chinese players. Its Y series models are a success and pushed its market share to 5% in Q2 2021. vivo has been following a unique strategy since its entry into Colombia. In 2020 it has partnered with operators to focus on online sales, and this bet is paying off.

TECNO has made Colombia a part of its growth effort involving Africa, the Middle East, and Asia’s Southeast and South. An online-only sales channel and strategic partnerships with local distributors around Colombia’s main cities led it to take more than 3% market share in Q2 2021.”

Colombia Smartphone Market Share by Brand Origin, Q2 2021

Colombia Smartphone Market Share by Brand Origin, Q2 2021

Commenting on Chinese brands’ performance in Colombia, Principal Research Analyst Tina Lu said, “Chinese brands have doubled their volume YoY. Part of it is because Colombia was in a severe lockdown the same quarter last year. But even in terms of market share, Chinese brands’ share increased by 15% points driven by the newcomers and competition to fill the space vacated by Huawei. Due to its unique market, many Chinese brands are entering the LATAM region through Colombia. The country provides unrestricted access to its market and promotes entry-level smartphones by waiving value-added tax on devices priced below $200. Besides, the operators and retail channels maintain a healthy balance.”


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:

Andres Silva

Tina Lu

Follow Counterpoint Research

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