LTE Phone Shipments Grew Shipments 300% in Chile

Samsung led the market in terms of volumes whereas Apple led the market in terms of revenue. Entel led the Chilean market in terms of phone sales but Movistar well positioned to surpass Entel as the leading mobile phone sales channel

Hong Kong, Seoul, New Delhi, Mumbai, London, San Diego, Beijing & Buenos Aires – Abril 26, 2016

According to the latest Market Monitor Report from Counterpoint Research, Chile’s overall mobile phone market shrank by almost 6% YoY, but smartphone market grew a healthy 53% as feature phone demand continue to phase away in this important Latin American (LATAM) market.

Commenting the findings Peter Richardson, Director at Counterpoint Research said, “Chile mobile phone market like USA is mostly carrier driven. The market has three strong carriers, and several MVNOs, which makes this market quite healthy and tremendously competitive. Besides, Chile has one of the highest penetration of postpaid plans in Latin America with sales dominated by the carrier channels.

As smartphone penetration of the total mobile phones has grown fast, Chile still lags behind in adoption of LTE compared to the other LATAM countries, but it will soon become one of the most advanced LTE markets in LATAM.  Chile will most likely to be the first country to have a fully operational national LTE 700Mhz network over the next twelve months to nicely complement the current 2600MHz band, offering a ubiquitous LTE coverage to drive higher adoption. LTE smartphones accounted more than half of the smartphones shipped in Q4 2015, which we estimate will grow to almost 80% by end of 2016.”

Tina Lu, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research added, “Samsung has dominated the Chilean market since 2012, considering the strong carrier relationships in Americas. The Korean vendor dominates across all the channels and price bands.  However, Samsung’s low-to-mid-tier mobile phones portfolio has propelled its share to almost 43% with the shipments growing a massive 150% YoY in 4Q 2015. This growth can also be attributed towards aggressive pricing for some of its best-selling models during Cyber Monday in November, and continuing the discounts into the Christmas holiday season.”

Ms Lu, commenting on carrier channel performance notes, “Entel leads the sales of mobile phones in Chile in spite of being the second ranking carrier in terms of overall subscriptions. This is mainly due to a healthy mix of postpaid subscriptions which are almost 17% higher than the leading operator Movistar. However, Movistar has the largest and the most reliable LTE coverage in Chile which should help the Spanish operator increase its postpaid mix this year to get closer to Entel and become the number one channel for mobile phone sales in Chile.”

Market Summary: 

  • Chilean mobile phone market shrank by 6% YoY, but smartphone segment grew 55% YoY
  • Smartphone represents more than 90% of penetration of all mobile phone shipments across all channels except MVNOs.
  • Entel and MVNOs are driving bulk of the feature phone volumes.
  • LTE was around 53% of all the mobile phones sold in the quarter, Movistar leads the LTE segment with 36% share.
  • The U$S51- 100 wholesale price band was the most important segment contributing to almost 40% of all mobile phones shipped in the quarter.

Exhibit 1: Chilean Mobile Phone OEM Share in Q4 2015

Chilean Mobile Phone OEM Share in Q4 2015

Vendor Summary:

  • Samsung led the mobile phone market with 43% share up from 26% a year ago and now is almost 2.5x bigger than its closest competitor, Alcatel.
  • Samsung’s 3G smartphones, Galaxy Grand Neo and Galaxy Core II were the best-selling models during the quarter.
  • Alcatel was the second largest vendor in the Chilean market but was the largest feature phone supplier during the quarter.  Alcatel 1035, 1021 were the best-selling mobile phones for Alcatel.
  • Huawei almost quadrupled its share compared to Q4 2014 and was the fastest growing brand in Chile.
  • Apple commanded a healthy 8% share to remain in the top five brand rankings. However, Apple led the entire mobile phone market in terms of revenue share, thanks to high ASP iPhones.
  • Motorola, Microsoft, Sony, LG and other brands succumbed to Samsung and Huawei’s onslaught.

Channel Summary:

 Exhibit 2: Chilean Mobile Phone Channel Share in Q4 2015

Chilean Mobile Phone Channel Share in Q4 2015

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor

  • Entel represented 32% of all the devices sold in Chile, followed by Movistar and Claro respectively.
  • Almost 9% of total mobile phones shipped in Chile, were unlocked mostly sold through the open channels such as Falabella, Almacenes paris and so forth.
  • Online channels (including carriers) contributed close to 4% of the total mobile phone shipments.
  • Open market is growing in Chile, mainly fueled by re-export of phones to neighboring countries such as Argentina or Bolivia. This channel sales mainly mid and high segment smartphones.
  • Samsung is the leader of all the channels except in the others MVNOs where Alcatel leads due to strong feature phone portfolio
  • Alcatel is the second largest brand among the big three carriers
  • Apple is third largest brand across Movistar, Entel and open channels.
  • Huawei is very strong across MVNOs, offering a very good portfolio of mid -tier smartphones.
  • The open channel is led by Samsung, followed closely by Motorola.

Exhibit 3: Chilean Mobile Phone OEM Ranking by Channel in Q4 2015

Chilean Mobile Phone OEM Ranking by Channel in Q4 2015

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor

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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.