Philippines Q1 2021 Smartphone Shipments up 19% YoY; Top Four Players Vie for #1 Spot

Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 10, 2021

The Philippines smartphone market saw a healthy YoY growth of 19% in its Q1 2021 shipments, according to the Counterpoint Research Monthly Philippines Channel Share Tracker. The growth was driven by pent-up demand, first-time users and an increased replacement rate, with consumers continuing to spend more time on their smartphones.

The initial part of the quarter showed a sluggish performance, following seasonal trends. However, new launches hitting the market in the latter half of the quarter saw most brands increasing their overall offline and online channel sales.

While Samsung led in overall shipments (22%), realme showed the highest YoY growth (+142%). OPPO did well driven by its Reno and A series smartphones. There is a close race on for the #1 spot, as the leadership position has been changing hands for the past four quarters. However, there are other brands like Xiaomi that are also doing well. The share of the top four OEMs, at 76%, reached its highest during the quarter.

Source: Counterpoint Research Monthly Philippines Channel Share Tracker, March 2021

Talking about the different factors affecting smartphone sales in the Philippines, Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “This market has seen volatility in the last few quarters and is expected to see more changes in the coming months due to various factors, like the recent COVID-19 resurgence, changes in discretionary income patterns, and increased proportion of online sales. With OEMs trying to conform to changes in consumer behavior, we can expect increased competition among the top four brands. The e-commerce segment has grown in the past one year driven by changing user preference during the pandemic. This was evident in smartphone sales as well, where 14% of smartphones were sold through online channels.”

At 34%, realme had the highest proportion in online sales. Smartphone OEMs are continuously ramping up their online channel presence in the Philippines. This is evident from the YoY increase in online sales proportion.

The Philippines has been actively expanding and testing its 5G infrastructure beyond Metro Manila for a few months now. Brands recognize this and are steadily increasing 5G capable models in their offerings, besides aggressively reducing the overall ASP of 5G smartphones. In fact, 5G smartphone prices are now below the prices of models like the Mi 10 series. However, this will not affect the premium smartphone segment, as this market is on its way to becoming more mature over the next few quarters.

While the main smartphone brands fight for a higher market share, there are other online-centric brands like Infinix and TECNO which have joined the race and are offering value-for-money models. We expect the lower- and mid-level segments to continue to offer better specifications.

The Counterpoint Research Channel Share Tracker is analyzing ongoing and future trends for this market in 2021, with many factors expected to change in favor of an increased consumption compared to 2020.


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.

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