LATAM Smartphone Shipments Fall 9.9% YoY in Q1 2023, But Most Leading Brands’ Volume, Share Increase

  • Samsung remained the region’s absolute leader with a 41.7% market share. It was also the leader in all the markets in the region.
  • OPPO’s volume grew 88% YoY, the highest growth among leading brands in the region.
  • Brazil, Mexico, and Chile suffered the biggest drop YoY.

Buenos Aires, San Diego, Denver, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing – May 11, 2023

LATAM smartphone shipments declined 9.9% YoY in Q1 2023 on weak consumer demand, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service. After a bleak Q4 of 2022, things did not turn around during the first quarter of 2023. Traditionally, Q1 is one of the slowest quarter of the year as the southern hemisphere’s summer recess falls in this quarter. The shipments usually start picking up in March in preparation for the Mother’s Day sales season in May. However, this year’s weak demand affected these shipments.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “High inflation, low economic growth, and some social unrest that continued from 2022 impacted consumer confidence in the region. 5G smartphones failed to attract consumers in big numbers to accelerate the rate of replacement. But still, the region’s 5G smartphone portfolio increased by more than 21% even as the share of 5G smartphones improved only a few points since December. It is still not clear whether the LATAM consumer wants a 5G smartphone or buys it as it is the best option available.”

Top Smartphone OEMs’ Market Share in Latin America, Q1 2023 vs Q1 2022

LATAM smartphone shipments- Q1 2023

Source: Market Monitor

Commenting on the performance of OEMs in the region, Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “While the smartphone market continued to decline, most leading brands managed to increase their share and even volume. With leading brands having better product availability and deeper pockets to run promotions, the smaller brands were pushed to an all-time low. However, the overall inventory situation continued to improve.”

Market Summary

  • Samsung’s volume and share in the region dropped YoY, impacted by the general market decline. However, the brand’s share improved QoQ. During Q1 2022, Samsung started an aggressive volume shipments that continued till Q2 and resulted in high inventories that lasted until the end of 2022, impacting the brand’s shipments during H2 2022. This year, Samsung was more cautious and did not build that massive amount of inventory.
  • The launch of refreshed A series allowed Samsung to remain as the region’s absolute leader with a 41.7% share, more than double the closest competitor’s.
  • The launch of the S23 series allowed Samsung to remain the value leader in the region. Samsung conducted an aggressive promotional campaign for the launch of the S23 series, and it was rewarded with better performance than last year’s S22 series. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina were the markets driving this growth.
  • Xiaomi also gained volume and share. Its growth was driven by the launch of the A2 model in February and the Note 12 model in April (shipments of the model started in March). The brand also managed to partially resolve the issues being faced by it in Mexico.
  • Xiaomi is trying to push its premium models, but the response from end users has been lukewarm so far.
  • Apple’s volume and share also increased YoY. The iPhone 11, a 4G model, drove its growth in the region.
  • Apple has been aggressively driving sales by offering a memory upgrade in the iPhone 14 and some subsidies for many of its products.
  • OPPO continued to grow, with its share more than doubling YoY. Its volume grew 88% YoY, the highest growth among leading brands in the region. Entering the region three years ago, OPPO has already consolidated its position among the top three in Mexico. It is now aiming to grow its share in Colombia and Peru.
  • OPPO is also set to increase its share in the premium segment by launching the Find N2 Flip in the region. It is the third OEM to launch a flip model in the region.
  • ZTE’s volume continued its decline from 2022. It is one of the brands affected by the regional decline.
  • The smaller and regional brands’ volumes continued to decrease. They have been squeezed by the big brands’ deep pockets and new entrants.

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Tina Lu

Senior Analyst

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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


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Related Posts

Xiaomi Rises as Third Biggest Player in LATAM Market in Q4 2020

  • LATAM smartphone shipments in Q4 2020 decreased 10.3% YoY.
  • Xiaomi shipments increased 98% compared to 2019, and for the first time, the company reached the third spot in Q4 2020.
  • Huawei, although still holding the third position in 2020, fell off the top five brands chart in Q4 2020.

Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – February 26, 2020

LATAM smartphone shipments dropped 10.3% YoY in Q4 2020 but increased 9.7% QoQ driven by a recovery from the pandemic and partly due to seasonality, according to the latest Market Monitor research from Counterpoint Research. The drop in shipments was the least in Brazil and Peru. For the first time, Xiaomi emerged as the third biggest player in the region in Q4 2020. The average selling price (ASP) in the region decreased by 6.4% during the quarter.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Smartphone shipments in 2020 dropped 19.6%. The market suffered from a supply shortage in Q1 2020, especially in Brazil, where local manufacturers also experienced parts shortages. From the end of March and through May, most of the regional demand was halted due to broad lockdowns in most LATAM countries. The market started to recover slowly after June.”

Lu added, “During H2 2020, there was a surge in online promotion events, like Cyber Week and Black Friday. Such events increased further in the first part of Q4 2020. However, by the end of the quarter, promotions shifted toward the offline mode to tap the potential there. Samsung was among the most aggressive in promoting its online channel and expanding its presence in the region.”

Exhibit 1: Smartphone Shipment Market Share, 2020

Counterpoint Research - LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share CY 2019 vs. CY 2020
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2020

Commenting on brand performance, Research Associate Monika Sharma said, “Samsung remained the region’s absolute leader in 2020 with 40.5% share. In fact, it was leading in all LATAM countries during the year. Its share in Brazil, the biggest market in LATAM, reached almost 50%. Motorola, which is a comfortable second in the LATAM market, increased its share by 3% points helped by its assembling operations in Brazil and Argentina, and its strong brand recognition in Mexico and Colombia.”

Sharma added, “Xiaomi experienced the biggest growth in participation. The company more than doubled its market share to become the third biggest player in Q4 2020. This is the first time Xiaomi has emerged as the third biggest player in the region. Looking at the trend, it will surely remain the third player in LATAM in 2021. Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi all took advantage of Huawei’s weakening position due to the US ban.”

Exhibit 2: Smartphone Shipment Market Share, Q4 2020

Counterpoint Research - LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share Q4 2019 vs. Q4 2020
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2020

Market summary

  • Samsung is the absolute leader in all LATAM markets. Its share reached 40.5% in 2020, an increase of 2.5% points from 2019. Motorola, its nearest competitor, had less than half of this share. Samsung’s market leadership was driven by the success of its entry-level A series. The company is expected to retain this huge share until a serious contender emerges in the region. But this needs some time to happen.
  • However, Samsung’s share reached 36.9%, its lowest point in 2020, in Q4 2020, impacted by product constraint at the end of the year.
  • Motorola is a comfortable number two in the region. Its share was 18.5% in 2020, which is the highest in the last 10 years. In 2021, it is expected to focus on growing its ASP, as it is unlikely to have any other brand shadowing it in the short term.
  • Xiaomi, which has been in the LATAM market for a few years now, grew exponentially compared to the previous year. It benefited from Huawei’s decline. Many LATAM users perceive it as an affordable but reliable brand. It was number two in Peru and number three in Chile during Q4 2020. But it still failed to reach the top three brands chart in other markets of the region.
  • Apple grew both MoM and YoY. It launched the new iPhones in the whole of LATAM except Mexico in November. The late launch pushed the sales of the iPhone 12 in December.
  • Apple leads the sales of 5G enabled phones in the region, capturing more than 66% share.
  • LG managed to maintain its share YoY and grow MoM. Driven by its K series, the company has been growing slowly in volume across the region.
  • Other brands continued to decline. Recent entrants like OPPO, vivo, realme and Tecno will need one year or so to build their brand in the market, the key to success in LATAM.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q4 2020 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our in-depth research and insights, or for press enquiries.


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

Monika Sharma

Peter Richardson

Follow Counterpoint Research       

The Big Acquisition: Lenovo acquires Motorola

The Big Acquisition:

The world’s leading PC manufacturer Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google for ~ USD 2.91 Billion. With this deal, Lenovo acquired the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of smartphones such as Moto X, Moto G and the DROID™ Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo gets ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product road map. However, Google retained ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures.


With this deal, Lenovo will not only be able to expand its current portfolio of handsets, add a rich heritage of mobile handset design, engineering and manufacturing expertise but. Also gains Motorola’s brand and access to key North America & Latin America markets. This instantly makes Lenovo almost the third largest smartphone player in the global smartphone segment competing head-on with Huawei. Following table highlights the global smartphone sales and market share of the two companies in 2013 (Source: Market Pulse Service):

Chart 1: Global Smartphone Sales and Market Share, Jan-Dec 2013 (in million units)

Global Lenovo and Motorola Smartphone Sales and Market Share, Jan-Dec 2013 (in million units) 

Learning from the past, Lenovo efficiently utilized the brand value of IBM ThinkPads after acquisition and maintained it well, hence we expect Lenovo to maximize advantages of this acquisition and boost its competitive edge on a global level.

According to our quarterly Market Monitor service, Lenovo is the second largest smartphone vendor in the world’s biggest market, China. Lenovo is making strides to expand its presence outside of China entering into key emerging markets such as India, Russia and South East Asia. To become a global smartphone player, Americas market presence and growth is the key. Lenovo will look forward to leverage Motorola’s strong brand presence, mind-share and strong carrier relationships to succeed. Although Google retained Motorola Mobility’s key patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures; still these companies together can offer handsets having innovative features and applications.


In light of the deal, Lenovo has stepped up promotions for its flagship Vibe X not only ahead of Chinese New Year season but also is evident in newspapers and roadside billboards in markets such as India to gain maximum mind-share. Lenovo has been pretty aggressive with its pricing in its domestic market which is evident from the wholesale ASP for this Chinese vendor. Lenovo’s portfolio and hence sales are heavily skewed towards the high-growth sub-US$100 segment. What Motorola deal could help Lenovo is to first create a strong mid-tier to high-tier smartphone portfolio.  This would help Lenovo boost its ASP, top-line and bottom line. For comparison, Motorola has been commanding healthy ASPs for its portfolio thanks to premium portfolio across key US carriers and generous subsidies. But, lately Motorola with Moto X & G has looked to create “affordable premium” portfolio which could disrupt the market and chimes well with Lenovo’s low-cost strategy.  Following is a snapshot of Motorola & Lenovo’s wholesale ASP over the past several quarters, sourced from Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service.

Chart 2: ASP, 2012Q1-2013Q3 (in USD)

Counterpoint Research - Lenovo Motorola Smartphones Wholesale ASP


Along with Motorola’s brand, engineering expertise, strong presence in Americas, Lenovo inherits a company which is operationally challenged. Motorola over the last several quarters have generated steep losses. This will remain a challenge for Lenovo on how it not only becomes the third largest vendor by volume but also becomes a profitable global smartphone brand.  Thus moving up the price-tiers in smartphone segment and gaining foothold in key subsidy driven markets will be   the key to become profitable by generating enough scale and balancing overall costs.

Furthermore, when such an acquisition occurs, human resources of the acquired company is impacted the most. There will be changes in terms of organizational structure, culture, company policies, etc. Moreover, employees at Motorola initially faced some challenges getting accustomed to Google’s culture over the last one year and now they will have to align to a Chinese company’s culture which might take a huge toll on these key resources. Brain drain effect and retaining key Motorola talent, as a result of acquisition, is going to also be one of the big challenges for Lenovo.

Also, acquiring Motorola does not necessarily mean that Lenovo will get instant access to the US operators’ selves and subsidies budget. The company will need to prudently leverage Motorola’s existing strong relationships with American channel partners to first get foot-in-the-door and then prove its low-cost leadership for long-term success.


We believe the company should retain the name ‘Motorola’ or even the brand name “Moto” to reap maximum benefits and launch new premium products with this brand especially in key Americas markets. Lenovo should follow the same co-branding strategy as they did by co-branding with “Thinkpad” brand and maintained the mind-share and market share in global enterprise PC market Furthermore, Lenovo should continue its “affordable premium” and “low-cost” aggressive strategy in key emerging markets to offer more value to the consumers and capture maximum market share and gain scale.  The next logical step for Lenovo would be to invest in software and services as well as R&D (for cellular IP) to compete with bigger players such as Samsung, Apple and Nokia.

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