Hong Kong, London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – November 22, 2021
Thailand’s smartphone shipments decreased by 14% YoY in Q3 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Thailand Channel Share Tracker. August saw the peak of COVID-19 infection rates in the country, which led to slowing down of the economy. However, 5G smartphone shipments during the quarter were the highest ever.
Commenting on the change in consumer sentiment, Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “Thailand’s government and industry made sure to continue with ecosystem improvements in 5G and other telecom infrastructure. However, OEM shipments suffered due to supply constraints. Besides, consumer sentiment was not high enough for smartphone purchases during Q3. As shipments decreased, consumer demand was seen more in the sub-$150 band. The C series of realme and Samsung’s entry-level Galaxy series like A02 did well during this period as consumers preferred economical options. Smartphones in the $400 and above band were still in demand due to many new launches and consistent promotions by OEMs and operators alike.”
Even as overall shipments decreased, the share of online channels showed a QoQ increase, reaching 24%. This also hints at a strong online channel performance even for Q4 2021. The 9.9 online festival sales in September led to demand growth. Major platforms like Shopee, Lazada and JD Central performed well due to pent-up demand over the first two months of the quarter.
For Thailand, Q4 2021 is looking quite promising when compared with other SEA countries. Thailand has shown potential to absorb COVID-19 impact in the past. Higher range smartphones have a larger market in this country, which will favour OEMs as well. Apple’s iPhone 13 series is most likely to sustain its demand in the coming months.
As 5G infrastructure is a priority area, OEMs have also started launching 5G SA (standalone network) compatible models. vivo came out with the V21 5G which supports 5G SA networks. The digital transformation is going well in Thailand with a focus on Industry 4.0. Technology brands like Huawei are at the forefront with their expertise and investments in the country. All these factors will see an increased absorption of 5G, not only for smartphones but also smart homes and other IoT devices.
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