Hong Kong, London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – August 11, 2021
Thailand smartphone shipments grew 18% YoY in Q2 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Thailand Channel Share Tracker. A slowly recovering economy after the second wave of COVID-19, availability of mid-tier 5G devices, and higher penetration of online sales drove smartphone volumes during the quarter.
Commenting on the factors that led to this growth, Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “Thailand was reeling at the beginning of the quarter but the cases started to decline during late May and June. As a result, the authorities relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and opened parts of the country to tourists. This brought some relief to the economy and the impact was visible in the smartphone segment as well. However, the trend was short-lived. The cases have started to rise again. With only 11% of Thailand’s population vaccinated with at least one dose, we are seeing restrictions coming back in place.”
While OPPO became Thailand’s leading smartphone brand in Q2 2021, Xiaomi saw the strongest growth due to its increasing offline reach, the introduction of the affordable 5G Note series, and growth from its sub-brand POCO. Xiaomi rose from the fourth position in Q2 2020 to share the second position with Samsung in Q2 2021. Samsung maintained its focus on the premium Galaxy S-series and the affordable A-series throughout the quarter. Even vivo pushed its 5G models like the V21 5G and Y52 5G.
Online share made up 19% of the total shipments in Q2 2021 and the overall online volume increased by 50% compared to Q2 2020. E-commerce sales continue to surge in Thailand this year for almost all product categories. As H1 2021 showed promise with an increase in smartphone shipments, online channels continue to aid volume distribution across the country.
Commenting on operator initiatives, Cardoza said, “Thailand’s three main operators (AIS, TRUE, and Dtac) are racing to cover the country with 5G connectivity. The fact that the number of 5G subscriptions went up in the last quarter itself is fuelling their initiatives. Dtac has been busy covering all provinces with its 700MHz spectrum while AIS has been partnering with other ecosystem players like OTT platforms to give more value in packages.”
Compared to last year’s 3%, 5G compatible smartphones made up 34% of the shipments in Q2 2021. This is set to increase by the end of 2021. Thailand has the highest proportion of 5G smartphones in the region. This is attributed to the swift rise of 5G infrastructure and telecom initiatives in the past year and a half. Top smartphone OEMs have been consistent with their 5G launches. Some of the models which are doing well are the OPPO Reno 5 series, vivo Y72 5G, Mi 11, Redmi Note 10 series, Samsung Galaxy S21 series, and the realme Note 8 series.
Going forward, the resurgence in COVID-19 will dictate changes, if any, in Thailand’s Q3 smartphone shipments.
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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