LATAM Smartphone Shipments up 22.1% YoY in Q1 2021; Samsung Leads With 42% Share


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

LATAM smartphone shipments surged by 22.1% YoY in Q1 2021 but decreased by 4.8% QoQ due to seasonality, according to the latest Market Monitor report from Counterpoint Research. The competition fuelled by Samsung and Motorola launching refreshed models and new Chinese OEMs entering the region drove the market growth.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “In Q1 2021, the region’s smartphone market saw an extraordinary 22.1% growth, as last year it was impacted by a shortage of products coming from China, and COVID-19 lockdowns by the end of the quarter. This year, it still faced some product shortages due to inadequate component supplies, especially the chipset. But this impacted mainly the ‘Local Kings’ and smaller brands, as their negotiating power is lower.”

Lu added, “The first quarter of the year is usually a slow one, as most of the Southern Hemisphere is on summer holidays. But fierce competition fuelled by new Chinese OEMs entering the region and Samsung launching new models in the A-series while increasing advertising to announce the S-series, drove the market growth. This shows that the smartphone market is resilient in the face of tough conditions due to the pandemic. Brazil ranks third globally in terms of most number of COVID-19 cases while Mexico ranks fourth among countries with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths.”

Smartphone Shipment Market Share, Q1 2021


Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q1 2021


Commenting on the regional performance, Research Analyst  Parv Sharma said, “All major LATAM countries except Chile saw double-digit growth. Argentina, Peru and Brazil drove the region’s overall growth. The economic recession due to the pandemic failed to diminish the volume of smartphones sold in the region, partly because of the smartphone becoming an essential gadget and partly due to the OEMs driving the market. However, the pandemic did impact the consumer’s smartphone purchase budget, which the OEMs were fast to react to and increase their entry-level models.”


Smartphone Shipment Growth by Country, Q1 2021 vs Q1 2020


Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q1 2021


Market summary

  • Samsung remained the region’s leading brand. It was aggressive on the sell-in front. Four out of ten smartphones sold in the LATAM market were from this OEM.
  • Samsung’s volume increased QoQ despite the seasonality factor. It started 2021 by renewing part of its A-series portfolio. It also advertised heavily during the launch of new flagship models — Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra — in February. This drove higher sales for all the other lines from this brand.
  • Motorola volume increased more than 88% YoY. This growth came from the ground gained from Huawei and due to supply constraints faced by the OEM last year following the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
  • Motorola remained a solid second player in the region, although closely challenged by Xiaomi and even OPPO in Mexico.
  • Xiaomi continued its YoY growth. However, the growth reached a plateau during the quarter as Xiaomi has no local manufacturing in Brazil. At the same time, it is still building its brand in the rest of LATAM.
  • Xiaomi’s growth has been slightly challenged by new Chinese entrants in some countries, such as Colombia, Chile and Mexico.
  • Apple continues to grow. It leads the introduction of 5G handsets in the region with the iPhone 12 model. However, the iPhone 11 still takes a large portion of its volume.
  • ZTE doubled its volume and increased its share YoY. The brand expanded its participation in the LATAM market by entering the open channel. It is also growing its footprint in Peru and Colombia.
  • LG also managed to increase its volume and share, which is a breakthrough for the OEM that has been experiencing YoY declines for almost two years. The announcement that it plans to exit the mobile device market did not impact its performance during Q1 2021.
  • ‘Others’ saw a dramatic decrease as ‘Local Kings’ are now playing mostly in the 3G smartphone space. This group was most impacted by the chipset shortage.


The comprehensive and in-depth Q1 2021 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Feel free to contact us at for further questions regarding our in-depth research and insights, or for press enquiries.


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


Parv Sharma

+91 974-259-6030


Peter Richardson

+44 7917231934


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