Philippine smartphone market grew by almost 27% in Q1, but seen slowing down

THE Philippines’ smartphone market grew by nearly 27% year on year, bringing in more than four million units in the first three months of the year, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“This was despite a 35.3% decline compared to the previous quarter’s large shipments by vendors that took advantage of the high shopping traffic during holiday season in the country,” IDC said in a statement on May 25.

It noted that the first quarter of 2021 was “the most relaxed period” since the pandemic started in 2020.

Angela Jenny Medez, market analyst at IDC Philippines, said the smartphone market continued to thrive during the quarter despite the economic contraction, indicating an increase in demand for smartphones during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Lockdown restrictions softened across the country for most of the first quarter and vaccinations started rolling out in March. This allowed more people to return to work and businesses to resume, therefore driving consumer spending and confidence,” Ms. Medez added.

The top smartphone brands in the Philippines as of the first quarter of the year according to market share were realme (21.3%), OPPO (15.3%), Samsung (14.5%), Transsion (14%), and Xiaomi (10.9%).

“With the cases rising from the middle of March, vendors started to prepare for the second lockdown by ensuring that they have the right channel setup and by being ready to fulfill orders to reach consumers,” Ms. Medez said.

“Although the smartphone market has proven to be resilient during the pandemic as people became more reliant on devices to keep them connected, we are anticipating 2021Q2/Q3 to slow down due to the rising COVID-19 cases and reimposed lockdowns, prompting vendors to extend their roadmaps,” she added. — Arjay L. Balinbin