Samsung Regains SEA Smartphone Top Spot With 23% Share

Hong Kong, London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – December 8, 2021

Southeast Asia saw an 11% YoY dip in its smartphone shipments in Q3 2021, according to Counterpoint’s Global Smartphone Channel Share Tracker. With markets beginning to reopen towards the end of the third quarter, Samsung was able to increase its shipments by shifting products quickly from its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam to stakeholders further down the channel. But other OEMs found it tough to tackle the ongoing component shortages and, overall, both offline and online channels faced low supplies. All this helped Samsung recapture the top spot with a 23% share in the key SEA countries.

In Q3 2021, the region was hit hard by a fresh COVID-19 wave which led to a very restrictive economic environment. While the industrial sector was focused on production and technological advancements, consumers were hit hard by extended lockdowns and other restrictions, resulting in a reduced purchase of non-essential items.



Smartphone Shipments in Key Southeast Asian Markets Q3 2020 vs Q3 2021

Source: Counterpoint Research Southeast Asia Channel Share Tracker

Samsung’s A series performed well along with its more premium Galaxy S21 range and Flip 3 models. OPPO (19% share) and vivo (16% share) tried to sustain shipments despite the crunch. Xiaomi was among the OEMs which suffered a bit more than others. As Samsung and the Chinese giants battled for market supremacy, top OEMs continued to gain share even from the long-tail brands in these countries.

Top OEMs Market Share in Key Southeast Asian Countries Q3 2020 vs Q3 2021

Source: Counterpoint Research Southeast Asia Channel Share Tracker

Even as consumers were trying to acclimatize to the restrictive social and economic environment, there were changes in smartphone purchase dynamics as well. Commenting on the changing preferences in the region, Senior Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “The online and 5G portions of the shipments have been growing for some time now, but there are other factors shaping the SEA smartphone market as well. Shipment volumes are changing with respect to specifications like display size, display type, battery capacity and NAND capability. Our Southeast Asia Smartphone Channel Tracker has been highlighting these changing trends and more. These changes indicate a certain maturity in the region’s consumers’ buying behavior. Two factors are important here:

  1. Availability of higher-end features in mid-tier smartphones.
  2. Ongoing digital transformation, which is making the smartphone a much more essential commodity.”

While OEMs and telecom operators continue to target the market with products and promotions, the consumers’ buying sentiment will depend on macro-economic factors like the job market, disposable income levels, city migration and the restart of tourism. Q4 2021 is most likely to bring healthy volumes for the region’s countries. Consumers who have waited and curtailed their purchases will actively start buying again based on the offers available across channels.


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:

Glen Cardoza

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