Smartphone shipments fall due to tight supply, weak demand

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

SMARTPHONE shipments in the Philippines registered a 7.1% decline in the first three months of the year, reflecting the impact of supply constraints and weak demand for mobile phones, the International Data Corp. (IDC) said.

Citing its quarterly mobile phone tracker, the IDC said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday that the “ongoing supply constraints for low-end smartphones coupled with weakened consumer spending for mobile phones in the Philippines resulted in year on year and quarter on quarter declines of 7.1% and 21.6%, respectively.”

The top five smartphone brands in the country during the quarter based on market share were realme (20.2%), Transsion (19.8%), Samsung (16.8%), Xiaomi (14.2%), and OPPO (11.2%).

“While 5G (fifth-generation) smartphones have increased to almost 20% of total shipments in Q122 (first quarter of 2022), 4G (fourth-generation) Android smartphones fell 16.3% year on year and 24.4% quarter on quarter due to tight supplies, with smartphones priced less than $200 impacted the most,” IDC Philippines Market Analyst Angela Jenny V. Medez said.

“Supply disruptions are expected to challenge vendors in meeting their targets for 2022, but we may see some improvements towards the end of the year,” she added.

“The silver lining could be the acceleration of 5G smartphones in the Philippines as vendors focus on their 5G portfolio to drive growth.

The Philippine smartphone market contracted by 5.6% to 17.8 million units in 2021, as lockdowns dampened buying activity and global supply bottlenecks restricted supply, according to the IDC.

The market research company said sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 declined by 23.3% year on year, even as shipments increased by 18.4% quarter on quarter.

IDC initially expected “double-digit growth” in the smartphone market this year as global supply constraints ease.

The top five smartphone brands in terms shipments to the Philippines last year were realme (3.96 million), OPPO (2.62 million), Transsion (2.47 million), Samsung (2.40 million), and vivo (2.39 million).