Report: Southeast Asia’s Smartphone Market Experiences Lowest Shipments in 6 Years

The second quarter of this year saw a 15 percent decrease in smartphone shipments to Southeast Asia, totaling 20.9 million units – the lowest figure since 2014 – according to Canalys research. Macroeconomic conditions in the region remain unfavorable.

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Southeast Asia's Smartphone Market Sees Lowest Shipment Since 2014: Report
The Southeast Asia smartphone market falls 15% year-on-year in the second quarter of this year. Photo: Ha Noi Moi

According to a recent report, the smartphone market in Southeast Asia experienced a 15% decline in the second quarter of this year. This decline has led to an increase in old stock, impacting new initiatives and vendor inventory. As a result, the festive season has been lackluster. This marks the sixth consecutive drop in growth in Southeast Asia’s smartphone market.

Despite the decline, Samsung maintained its lead in Southeast Asia, shipping 4.2 million units and gaining a 20% market share. This was driven by the success of its new A-series models.

OPPO held the second position with 3.4 million units shipped and a 16% market share. The brand focused on increasing brand visibility for its Find and Reno series and expanding into markets like Malaysia and Thailand.

Xiaomi and Transsion both shipped 2.9 million units, each capturing a 14% market share. Xiaomi leveraged the launch of its Redmi Note 12 series to drive sales. Transsion expanded its market share in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, while also solidifying its position as the market leader in the Philippines.

Southeast Asia's Smartphone Market Sees Lowest Shipment Since 2014: Report
Vietnam witnessed a 24% decline in smartphone shipments due to its exposure to the global economic slowdown. Photo: Vietnamnet

Realme regained the fifth spot by shipping 2.6 million units and capturing a 12% market share. The brand had success with its new C-series launches.

According to Le Xuan Chiew, Analyst at Canalys, increased 5G adoption in operator-centric markets like Thailand and Malaysia drove some momentum in the second quarter. Telco operators sought cost-effective 5G devices for promotions, resulting in a softening of the decline in those markets. Affordable 5G devices continue to be a key driver in maintaining long-term market share in telco-driven markets.

Vietnam, with its export-driven economy, experienced a 24% decline in smartphone shipments due to its high exposure to the global economic slowdown.

Analysts at Canalys expect the market to gain momentum in the second half of 2023 as channel inventory returns to healthier levels. The ramp-up of incentive programs and new high-end launches are expected to increase retail sales. The long-term outlook for Southeast Asia remains positive, with Canalys predicting mid-single-digit growth in 2024. The expansion of the online channel will be a significant contributor to future growth.

Southeast Asia's Smartphone Market Sees Lowest Shipment Since 2014: Report
Affordable 5G devices continue to drive long-term market share in telco-driven markets. Photo: Pandaily

According to a report by Speedtest (of Ookla), Vietnam ranked 10th in the list of countries with the largest number of 5G smartphones in the world last year. The specific numbers for each country were not provided, but the rankings were determined based on results obtained in the third quarter of 2022 (from July to September).

The top 10 countries with the most 5G phones during that period were the US, China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, UK, and Vietnam.

Rosy Huong