Samsung, Apple, ZTE, HONOR Shine as Colombia Smartphone Shipments Decline 3% YoY in 2022

  • Apple and Samsung shipped 26% and 14% more smartphones YoY amid market declines.
  • HONOR rose 200% YoY driven by its multi-channel and multi-device strategy.
  • ZTE rose 50% YoY due to its low-price-band portfolio and increasing spots in the open channel.

Bogota, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – March 13, 2023

Colombia’s smartphone shipments fell 3% YoY in 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. OEMs recorded mixed numbers, ranging from rising stars like HONOR with a 200% YoY growth to incumbents like HMD with double-digit declines of more than 40%.

Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Like the rest of the region, Colombia is being affected by macroeconomic headwinds, just a bit more due to the risks connected with the new government. It has decreased the number of VAT-free days, which used to be the main events for driving sales. But still, the shipment decline was much less compared to LATAM’s 5.5% YoY fall.  This is because Colombia’s market finished the year with a higher level of inventory.”

Research Analyst Andres Silva said, “Inventory was the biggest worry of OEMs in 2022. Samsung, Apple and ZTE grew in double digits in 2022, reflecting the importance of tried and tested channel management processes in the country. Also, brand equity plays a key role – with economic uncertainty, consumers tend to prefer known brands. Motorola and Xiaomi suffered specifically in the premium and flagship devices. Even local kings, or the ‘Others’ category, shipped 8% less YoY.”

Commenting on the overall market outlook, Silva said, “Going forward, the market might continue to decline as end users are showing more appetite for experiences. For example, concerts and outdoor activities increased 37% YoY in 2022, the second year of post-COVID reopening. The replacement cycle continues to lengthen while shipment units recover to pre-pandemic levels. Nevertheless, the market still has room to grow – sub-$200 5G devices can become popular if the 5G network rollout picks up.”

Colombia Smartphone Shipment Share, 2021 vs 2022

Colombia smartphone market – 2021 vs. 2022

Source: Counterpoint Research Q4 2022 Market Monitor

Note: Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding


2022 full-year market summary

Despite the seasonality associated with Q4, which is usually the strongest quarter of the year due to Black Friday and the Christmas holiday season, Q4 2022 could not avoid the 2022 trend of a decrease in consumer demand.

Inflation eased and the peso’s position improved slightly towards the end of Q4, but still, they could not compensate for the purchasing power lost throughout the year.

Samsung grew 14% YoY, with its H2 2022 being better than H2 2021 (+27% YoY). Supply chain constraints were encountered by the OEM in 2021. Also, the Buds 2 bundle offer attracted upgraders and new customers throughout the year.

Motorola declined 38% YoY, with high inventory levels of the Edge 30 series in the operator channel and of the G60 and G60s series in the open channel.

Xiaomi dropped 10% YoY on premium device stocks at stores and the last legs of the Redmi Note 11 series, which slipped drastically in Q4 2022.

ZTE’s shipments increased 50% YoY benefiting from the demand in low-mid and low segments, which are exempt from VAT. Also, ZTE offered device insurance on purchases through the open channel.

Apple was up 26% YoY despite restrictions on its 5G devices following Ericsson’s case against the brand over 5G patent infringement. The iPhone 11, a 4G device, was the OEM’s top-selling model.

TECNO saw another year without a trace of presence in the operator channel. The double-digit YoY loss reflects its lack of exposure to most customers.

HONOR registered the biggest growth of the year at 200% YoY. A multi-channel and multi-device strategy paid off for the brand. The OEM is on track to build brand appeal among Colombians.

OPPO grew 11% YoY driven by in-store marketing activities like an extra warranty (one year more than competitors) on its devices.

vivo’s bet on the FIFA World Cup did not bring results as Colombians failed to find in retail the devices it was promoting.

The ‘Others’ category, mainly composed of local kings, saw an 8% YoY decline. This category’s performance is highly correlated to economic health.


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:

Tina Lu

Andres Silva

Peter Richardson

Follow Counterpoint Research       

LATAM Smartphone Shipments Grow 13.4% YoY in 2021 Despite Supply Constraints

  • LATAM smartphone shipments grew 13.4% YoY in 2021 and .03% YoY and 9% QoQ in Q4 2021.
  • Samsung led the market with 38% share, followed by Motorola with 22.5% share.

Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – February 24, 2022

LATAM smartphone shipments grew a healthy 13.4% YoY in 2021 despite the ongoing component shortages. However, the number was still 9% lower than that for 2019, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Market Monitor tracker. Most of the 2021 growth was in the first half of the year, as COVID-19 lockdowns had hit growth in the same period of 2020.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Most LATAM countries saw YoY growth driven by Chinese brands entering the region and increasing competition. But Brazil’s TAM decreased YoY. With local manufacturing/assembly representing more than 80% of its smartphone volume, Brazil felt the full impact of component shortages.”

Commenting on brand trends, Lu said, “All brands grew in volume during 2021, but some grew more than others.  Samsung, the absolute leader in the region, increased only 6% in volume, but its ASP grew more than 19% YoY. The OEM’s shipments increased less than the overall market as it decided to produce higher-ASP devices due to chipset shortages.”

“Furthermore, LG exited the market during the second half of the year, leaving a void in the entry-level segment. Motorola and ZTE spotted the opportunity and moved in. Motorola’s volume increased 39% YoY and ZTE’s 74% YoY. But the brand that grew the most was Xiaomi, which aggressively entered the operator channel. Its volume almost doubled YoY. Xiaomi has been pushing its brand image in LATAM since 2018.”


LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share, 2021 vs 2020

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2021      Notes: Xiaomi includes POCO

Commenting on the Q4 2021 market dynamics, Research Analyst Andres Silva said: “Despite the annual growth, Q4 2021 shipments increased only .03% YoY but 9% QoQ due to a combination of seasonality and improved supplies from China and Vietnam and local manufacturing/assembly. The fourth quarter is usually the biggest quarter for the LATAM smartphone market. But in 2021 many OEMs could not anticipate production constraints that impacted most of the second part of the year.”


LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share, Q4 2021 vs Q4 2020

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2021      Notes: Xiaomi includes POCO


Q4 2021 Market Summary

Samsung led the region in Q4 2021 with its volume rising 12% QoQ but falling 1% YoY. The brand led in most of the countries in the region, except Argentina and Mexico. Samsung was impacted by supply shortages and not having enough entry-level products.

Motorola was the second biggest brand in the region. It led in Argentina and Mexico. Motorola managed to combine its brand recognition built over 30 years in LATAM and its entry-level models to grow in volume.

Xiaomi continued to grow in the region. It is now the solid number three. In Q4 2021, it saw 71% YoY growth. Its QoQ growth was drastically lower, hampered by supply shortages and not having local production in Argentina and Brazil. Xiaomi has recently announced it will start assembling smartphones in Argentina this year. Its volumes should grow further after local production starts.

Apple suffered huge constraints right after the launch of the iPhone 13. But the shortage appeared to ease by the end of the year with significantly increased shipments. Apple is the absolute leader in the region in the premium segment (>$500).

ZTE grew its volume 44% YoY by expanding sales beyond Mexico. It has a long-term relationship with carriers and offers a portfolio of <$100 smartphones.

Other Chinese brands like OPPO, vivo, realme and TECNO are new entrants to LATAM. They spent most of 2021 building their branding in the region. OPPO was the most successful of all these brands, as it had already built some branding in Mexico several years ago. It is among the top five in Mexico, but Its expansion into other markets has not yet shown results.

“Others” decreased YoY. “Local kings” continue to drop with international and Chinese brands filling the gap.



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:

Tina Lu

+54 91160411221

 Andres Silva

+57 3004929435

Peter Richardson

+44 7917231934

Follow Counterpoint Research       

Samsung Electronics : Q2 2018 : Tale of Two Business Units :: Semiconductor the Star

We mentioned in the previous post (here) how Samsung is transforming into semiconductor and systems company. Now we have more evidence that the horizontal semiconductor business is becoming really core to overall Samsung Electronics showcasing the real strong DNA of the Korean technology giant. The latest results for Samsung’s corporate level Q2 2018 performance is out, here is our analysis.

  • Samsung Electronics clocked a massive US$54 Billion revenues in Q2 2018
  • However, the revenues were flat YoY  and down -4% QoQ after peaking in Q4 2017 due to  the holiday season.
  • The holiday season in Q4 2017 fueled the downstream end market demand for its semiconductor and smartphone business.
  • The Mobile & Display Panel business revenues declined -18% & -23% YoY respectively.
  • This downturn was due to weaker demand for its newly launched flagship S9 series putting pressure on mobile business & slow demand for Flexible OLED due to a seasonally slow quarter for most of its key customers
  • However, offsetting these two businesses weaker performances was its semiconductor business.
  • The semiconductor business (memory (NAND + DRAM), LSI & foundry) saw revenues grow a massive +31% YoY
  • Further, Samsung continued to clock more than US$20Billion+ Operating Profits with healthy 25% margins
  • However, the tremendous growth in the bottom lines can also be attributed to strong performance by semiconductor division.
  • Samsung enjoyed the rising demand for high density memory for servers riding on the cloud computing and AI wave.
  • Demand for SSDs storage solutions for datacenters to store the enormous flow of data being generated by IoT devices, smartphones, applications usage and so forth.

  • The adoption of advanced configurations in NAND Flash (128GB+) & DRAM (3GB+) in smartphones across key customers continued to rise
  • This also fueled the growth of semiconductor business and contributed to the bottom lines
  • The mismatch between demand and supply for high density memories is at all-time-high leading to significant uptick in ASPs
  • This has led to healthy margins for Samsung which is the leading manufacturer and supplier of memory bits globally.
  • However, the contribution from mobile division to the top line and bottom line reduced.
  • This was mainly due to ASP and model mix shifted towards the refreshed J series portfolio towards  the second half of the quarter with strong gains in emerging markets such as India.
  • The Galaxy S9 series had softer than usual reception which also compounded negative growth annually for mobile division
  • Globally Samsung’s smartphone division market share declined to 20% from 22% a year ago as smartphone shipments reached 71.6 million units down 10% YoY.
  • The following chart narrates the tale of the two key divisions for Samsung : IM( Telecom) & Semiconductor and its impact on bottom lines and how they have grown over the years. Semiconductor division now contributes to 78% of the total Samsung Electronics’ operating profits.
  • It is ironical that, the customers (Apple, Chinese brands, Qualcomm) driving part of the semiconductor business growth have actually impacted the mobile business.
  • But this is how it is, when you are much better horizontal component vendor but also a vertical finished goods vendor with some inertia.


The complete analysis and charts on Samsung’s Q2 2018 corporate is available for Counterpoint clients at our research portal 

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