Samsung and Huawei Capture 60% of the Smartphone Market in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka smartphone market declined 11% YoY during Q3 2018

  • Sri Lanka smartphone segment contributed to 45% of the total mobile phone market

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

Dec 24th, 2018

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, Sri Lanka smartphone market declined 11% YoY largely due to slow down in the upgrade cycle and ongoing challenges in the macroeconomic environment.

Commenting on the findings, Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst stated “The annual decline in smartphone shipments was due to the softening demand from urban users who are holding on to their smartphones longer than usual. In spite of 30+ smartphone brands operating in a small market like Sri Lanka, the incentives of upgrading to a new smartphone were lower this year. However, going forward we estimate that the market is likely to grow as new brands are bringing in a new set of device features more quickly in the market which will drive users to upgrade in the next one year.”

Commenting on the brand performance, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director stated “Samsung and Huawei are the largest smartphone brands in Sri Lanka in Q3 2018, capturing almost three-fifth of the smartphone segment. The remainder of the market was distributed among long-tail brands. With offline channel contributing to over 95% of the sales, having a strong distributor partnership is crucial for a brand’s reach across the country. Smartphone brands are forming strategic partnerships across the ecosystem to maintain their user base and target the new ones from rural areas.”

Exhibit 1: Sri Lanka Smartphone Market Share – Q3 2018

Sri Lanka Smartphone Market Share – Q3 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q3 2018

Exhibit 2: Sri Lanka Featurephone Market Share – Q3 2018

Sri Lanka Featurephone Market Share – Q3 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q3 2018

Sri Lanka Market Summary:

  • Sri Lanka smartphone segment contributed to 45% of the total mobile phone market.
  • 30+ mobile phone brands are operating in the Sri Lanka market including local brands like Greentel and E-Tel.
  • Top three smartphone brands captured two-third of the total smartphone segment as compared to 71% in Q3 2017. The entry of new smartphone brands like Xiaomi, vivo and Tecno is likely to intensify the competition.
  • Samsung continues its market leadership in the smartphone segment due to the performance of its best-selling device J2 core, followed by Galaxy J1 2016 and Galaxy J2 2017.
  • Samsung is targeting its user base by entering into strategic partnerships to strengthen its distribution reach. Samsung launched its first ever experience store in Sri Lanka in Jul 2018.
  • Huawei captured the second spot in the smartphone segment and is running close for the #1 spot with Samsung. The brand kept on delivering its new products with latest features like AI and trendy designs. For example, Huawei Nova 3 series is receiving a good initial response from the users even though the Y series remains the volume driver.
  • Xiaomi already had its presence in the country even before its official entry in Q4 2018, highlighting the demand for its devices.
  • Offline traditional channels contributed 95% to the total smartphone shipments. Sri Lanka is a distributor driven smartphone market where OEMs must enter the market by partnering with distributors.
  • Online channels are getting less traction from users and are majorly driven by premium segment smartphones including iPhone, Samsung S-series and OnePlus.
  • LTE-capable smartphones contributed to 93% of the total smartphone shipments, making it a default feature in the smartphone segment.
  • Sri Lankan consumers are moving towards a bigger screen size with increase in consumption of social media and other streaming content on mobile devices.

Top Selling Models:

  • Top five best-selling smartphones captured almost 24% of the total smartphone market.
  • Huawei and Samsung were the only brands present in the top five smartphones ranking.
  • Four out of the top five smartphones were from Samsung.
  • Sri Lanka’s top-selling smartphone, Huawei Y3 2017 delivers the best specification and features for entry level segment users.

Exhibit 3: Sri Lanka Top Five Smartphone Model Share – Q3 2018

Sri Lanka Top Five Smartphone Model Share – Q3 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q3 2018

The comprehensive and in-depth Q3 2018 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at)counterpointresearch.com 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.

Analyst Contacts:

Karn Chauhan

+91 9816455600
[email protected]

Tarun Pathak
+91 9971213665
[email protected]


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