Samsung, Apple, ZTE, HONOR Shine as Colombia Smartphone Shipments Decline 3% YoY in 2022

  • Apple and Samsung shipped 26% and 14% more smartphones YoY amid market declines.
  • HONOR rose 200% YoY driven by its multi-channel and multi-device strategy.
  • ZTE rose 50% YoY due to its low-price-band portfolio and increasing spots in the open channel.

Bogota, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – March 13, 2023

Colombia’s smartphone shipments fell 3% YoY in 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. OEMs recorded mixed numbers, ranging from rising stars like HONOR with a 200% YoY growth to incumbents like HMD with double-digit declines of more than 40%.

Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Like the rest of the region, Colombia is being affected by macroeconomic headwinds, just a bit more due to the risks connected with the new government. It has decreased the number of VAT-free days, which used to be the main events for driving sales. But still, the shipment decline was much less compared to LATAM’s 5.5% YoY fall.  This is because Colombia’s market finished the year with a higher level of inventory.”

Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “Inventory was the biggest worry of OEMs in 2022. Samsung, Apple and ZTE grew in double digits in 2022, reflecting the importance of tried and tested channel management processes in the country. Also, brand equity plays a key role – with economic uncertainty, consumers tend to prefer known brands. Motorola and Xiaomi suffered specifically in the premium and flagship devices. Even local kings, or the ‘Others’ category, shipped 8% less YoY.”

Commenting on the overall market outlook, Silva said, “Going forward, the market might continue to decline as end users are showing more appetite for experiences. For example, concerts and outdoor activities increased 37% YoY in 2022, the second year of post-COVID reopening. The replacement cycle continues to lengthen while shipment units recover to pre-pandemic levels. Nevertheless, the market still has room to grow – sub-$200 5G devices can become popular if the 5G network rollout picks up.”

Colombia Smartphone Shipment Share, 2021 vs 2022

Colombia smartphone market – 2021 vs. 2022

Source: Counterpoint Research Q4 2022 Market Monitor

Note: Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding


2022 full-year market summary

Despite the seasonality associated with Q4, which is usually the strongest quarter of the year due to Black Friday and the Christmas holiday season, Q4 2022 could not avoid the 2022 trend of a decrease in consumer demand.

Inflation eased and the peso’s position improved slightly towards the end of Q4, but still, they could not compensate for the purchasing power lost throughout the year.

Samsung grew 14% YoY, with its H2 2022 being better than H2 2021 (+27% YoY). Supply chain constraints were encountered by the OEM in 2021. Also, the Buds 2 bundle offer attracted upgraders and new customers throughout the year.

Motorola declined 38% YoY, with high inventory levels of the Edge 30 series in the operator channel and of the G60 and G60s series in the open channel.

Xiaomi dropped 10% YoY on premium device stocks at stores and the last legs of the Redmi Note 11 series, which slipped drastically in Q4 2022.

ZTE’s shipments increased 50% YoY benefiting from the demand in low-mid and low segments, which are exempt from VAT. Also, ZTE offered device insurance on purchases through the open channel.

Apple was up 26% YoY despite restrictions on its 5G devices following Ericsson’s case against the brand over 5G patent infringement. The iPhone 11, a 4G device, was the OEM’s top-selling model.

TECNO saw another year without a trace of presence in the operator channel. The double-digit YoY loss reflects its lack of exposure to most customers.

HONOR registered the biggest growth of the year at 200% YoY. A multi-channel and multi-device strategy paid off for the brand. The OEM is on track to build brand appeal among Colombians.

OPPO grew 11% YoY driven by in-store marketing activities like an extra warranty (one year more than competitors) on its devices.

vivo’s bet on the FIFA World Cup did not bring results as Colombians failed to find in retail the devices it was promoting.

The ‘Others’ category, mainly composed of local kings, saw an 8% YoY decline. This category’s performance is highly correlated to economic health.


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

Follow Counterpoint Research       

LATAM Smartphone Market Returned to Growth in Q3 2019

Samsung leads the smartphone market in LATAM with 40% share.

Huawei returns to growth and remains the third-largest smartphone brand.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – November 21st, 2019

After four consecutive quarters of decline, the LATAM smartphone market registered 3.7% growth year over year (YoY) in Q3 2019, with almost all major markets, except Peru, having some level of shipments growth. In terms of brands, Samsung, Huawei and ZTE registered the most significant growth.

Commenting on the market’s development, Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst, Tina Lu, said, “Aggressive price erosion on older models, and the launch of new models, has tempted LATAM consumers to accelerate the replacement of their smartphones. But market concentration increased, with the top three brands now representing 69%, up from 65% in Q3 2018. This four-percentage point increase in concentration was mainly captured by Samsung, as it had the biggest YoY increase among the top three brands”.

Commenting on brand performance, Tina highlighted, “Samsung continues to strengthen its position in the region, reaching an all-time high of 40% share. Samsung combines aggressive pricing, strong brand awareness and an increasingly powerful sales channel push. Its sell-in growth is the result of the consolidation of its A-series across the region, while maintaining the J-series in Argentina and Brazil; several J-series models were still popular in these markets during Q3 2019.”

Parv Sharma, Research Analyst, added, “Huawei came back swiftly following the trade ban in May that caused sales to slow. It is still some distance from its peak in Q1 2019, but it managed to secure YoY growth in both August and September. Huawei’s focus in both Mexico and Colombia has yielded positive results, as it managed to remain a strong number two in both markets. Sales of legacy products should allow Huawei to stay competitive in LATAM market for rest of this year and in to 2020.”

Exhibit: Smartphone Shipment Market Share 2019 Q3

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q3 2019

 Market Summary:

  • Samsung is once again the absolute leader in the LATAM smartphone market. It is the leader in all major LATAM countries, although its leadership position has been closely challenged in Mexico.
  • Motorola has strong brand recognition in LATAM and, when combined with an attractive and affordable portfolio, it makes for a strong number two in the region. Its robust position in Argentina and Brazil provides a strong platform for continued strength in the region, provided it maintains its product portfolio with similar positioning.
  • Motorola’s volume increased compared to the previous quarter and the same quarter last year, as it manages to gain share, partly from LG.
  • Huawei has been aggressive at regaining share in Mexico, followed by Colombia and Chile. However, Huawei has not made much progress in penetrating the Brazilian market as it does not have the requisite local manufacturing capability.
  • LG continues to decline in the region. Nevertheless, it has managed to stay among the top three brands in Brazil and Argentina. These two countries represent almost 78% of its regional volume.
  • ZTE is slowly consolidating its position in the region. Its main market is Mexico, which represents almost half of its volume in the region. ZTE sells almost exclusively through operator channels, and mainly in AMX (America Movil).
  • TCL is attempting a dual brand strategy. Its Alcatel brand has a long history in the region, and it is pushing for growth again. In addition, it is now offering TCL-branded smartphones as a more premium offering.
  • Apple lost share and volume YoY, but it maintained share of the installed base. LATAM consumers must pay a hefty premium for iPhones of between 50% and 100% more, compared to US prices. Therefore, many Apple users choose to purchase new Apple devices in the US and then hand-carry to regional markets.
  • Local Kings’ and smaller brands’ shipments continue to decline, mainly displaced by Huawei and Motorola. Regional brands are mainly competing in the feature phone and low-end 3G smartphones segments.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q3 2019 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our in-depth 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.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view smartphone market share Globally and from the USAChina and India.

Analyst Contacts:

Tina Lu

Parv Sharma

Peter Richardson

Follow Counterpoint Research

LTE devices made up 77% of total shipments in Peru

Peru smartphone shipments grew 27% annually in Q3 2017, and 10% compared to the previous quarter. Since the entrance of Entel, the 4th operator, Peru has become one of the most competitive markets in LATAM. Operators still offer subsidies on devices to retain or to compete for new subscribers. As a consequence operators control more than 90% of handset distribution.

The, top six brands represent more than 70% of the smartphone market. The remaining 30% is shared by a long tail of more than 40 brands. Chinese smartphone brands had almost 40% share of the total smartphone market. The leading players are Huawei, Motorola and ZTE.

Opportunities such as number portability and low mobile penetration in some rural areas, triggered carriers to adopt different strategies to increase market share.  Amid this race, OEMs that can offer the best brand-price-feature combination, will likely advance. Huawei has been aggressive, surpassing Samsung to become the number one player in the smartphone market in 3Q 2017. Huawei had 18% market share followed by Samsung with 14% share. LG and Motorola grabbed third and fourth positions in the smartphone market. Motorola registered strong annual growth of 150%, with its C series smartphones performing well. Vietnamese carrier Bitel is a surprisingly strong player – its own branded smartphones captured fifth position, almost quadrupling its shipments annually in the quarter, albeit from a low base.

Exhibit 1: Peru Smartphone Shipments Ranking and Market Share – Q3 2017Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2017

MediaTek captured almost half of the smartphone market followed by Spreadtrum and Qualcomm with 15% and 13% market share. MediaTek is catering to the needs of low-mid range segment and is being embedded by LG, Huawei and Motorola in their key models. These three SOC players captured almost 80% of the total smartphone market. The rest of the market is shared by Huawei’s HiSilicon-branded processors, Apple and Samsung (Exynos).


Market Summary

  • Shipments in Peru during Q3 2017 grew a healthy 27% annually and 10% sequentially.
  • Smartphones represented 79% of handset shipments in the quarter.
  • LTE devices made up 77% of total shipments and grew 29% YoY and 4% QoQ.
  • Huawei became the number one player in the Peru smartphone market surpassing Samsung in 3Q 2017.
  • Samsung declined 34% annually and 52% sequentially falling to second position behind Huawei. Samsung is facing strong competition from Huawei, Moto and LG.
  • LG captured third position with 13% share. LG grew 12% annually, with its K series performing well and providing tough competition to Samsung’s J series.
  • Motorola more than doubled its shipments annually in Q3 2017 with its best-selling smartphone Moto C providing the driving force.
  • More than 70% of smartphones shipped had a screen size that was greater than 5.0 inches.
Exhibit 2: Peru Bestselling Smartphone Rankings – Q3 2017
Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Pulse Q3 2017
  • Top 10 smartphones represent almost 40% of the total smartphone market.
  • Eight of the 10 bestselling smartphones were in the <100 USD import price band.
  • Motorola Moto C was the top sell-in Smartphone during Q3 2017. More than half of the model’s volume was pushed by Entel.
  • Huawei Y6 and Y7 models have the highest ASP among the top selling models. Both have ASP higher than USD 100.
  • Samsung has only two older models J1 Mini Prime and J2 Prime in the top 10 bestsellers.


Top Smartphone Features Most Popular Amongst LATAM Users

According to the latest Counterpoint Market Monitor service, Smartphones represented 89% of Q3 2017 total mobile device shipments. Furthermore, smartphone volume increased by almost 8% compared to the same quarter in 2016, while ASPs decreased by almost 6% annually. Despite the decrease in ASPs, smartphone product features continued to improve.  However, with respect to smartphones features, LATAM is still behind many other regions.  The following is a snapshot from Q3 2017, of all the top features in smartphones.

Latin America Smartphone Product Specification Analysis

  • Almost 88% of smartphones shipped in LATAM during Q3 2017 were LTE enabled.
  • Argentina leads LTE enabled smartphone adoption in the region, while Peru and Colombia have the lowest rates of LTE adoption.
  • Almost 96% of the smartphones in LATAM run on Android OS. OS participation has not had much variation for most of 2017.
  • Four out of every five smartphones have an LCD display.
  • 56% of smartphones have a display size between 5.00”-5.49” and more than 72% have a display size that is <5.49”.
  • 74% of smartphones have a processor speed that is <2.00 GHz clock-speed while the remainder have higher speed (>2.0 GHz) processors – a segment that has more than doubled in share YoY.
  • One in two smartphones have a primary camera resolution >10.00 MP.

In 2017, Counterpoint conducted a series of consumer surveys in various countries around the globe.  LATAM consumers reported that they consider higher memory capacity, more battery life and a faster processor as the most important factors during the purchase of their next smartphone. Below is a closer look at two of the top features pointed out by consumers.

More Battery Life

High usage of public transportation and the lack of charging points in most public places makes battery life for many LATAM consumers the most important factor when choosing a smartphone. However, the average battery capacity of devices bought in LATAM during 3Q17 was only 2677 mAh, compared to a global average of just over 3000 mAh.

Since 2016, the global trend has been moving to 3000+ mAh batteries.  In LATAM, 3001-4000 mAh has been the segment with the biggest growth. In 3Q 2017 phones with larger batteries doubled their share YoY but remained a minority, with only 14% of the market.  In China during the same period, large battery devices represented 42% of the Chinese market. Both Samsung and Motorola brands have been driving the growth of this segment with Samsung Galaxy J7 and J5, and Motorola C Plus.


Exhibit 1: Smartphone Shipment Share by Battery Size

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Pulse Q3 2017


More Memory

Memory capacity has always been pushed down to minimum to decrease costs. In 3Q 2017, more than 75% of smartphones sold in LATAM had <16GB of NAND, with 8GB being the largest segment. This compares with a global average of 42%. Among all regions, only MEA-sold smartphones had a larger percentage of low memory devices with 89%.

A promising sign is that the segments of >32GB has more than tripled since last year, but it still represented only 22% of all the smartphones sold in LATAM during 3Q 2017. It is not surprising that our consumer research has shown that an increase in memory is within the top three requirements while purchasing a new device.


Exhibit 2: Smartphone Shipment Share by NAND Memory Capacity

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Pulse Q3 2017


LATAM, as a region, still has a lot of catching-up to do regarding smartphone features. However, users are becoming increasingly tech savvy and are increasingly demanding improved features when purchasing a new smartphone.  OEMs, especially the leading brands, will need to further understand local consumer desire and try to fulfill their brand users’ needs if they want to retain the loyalty of their current users.


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