How many smartphone units were shipped in SEA in Q4? | Asian Telecom
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How many smartphone units were shipped in SEA in Q4?

The Southeast Asian smartphone market rebounded after a weak start.

Smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia have increased to 4% year-on-year with a total of 23.8 million units recorded during the fourth quarter of 2023, analyst firm Canalys said.

This, after the market experienced a weak start in 2023 amid a sharp decline in consumer spending due to macroeconomic headwinds and inflationary conditions.

In its latest research, Canalys said the market was able to bounce back which led to a recovery of consumer demand for smartphones, catalyzed by aggressive launches and channel incentives. 

The report revealed that affordability continues to drive the majority of sales in Southeast Asia as devices priced below $299 accounted for a combined 82% of total volume in Q4 2023.

Following the recovery in the last quarter of 2023, Canalys predicts that smartphone shipments in the region will grow by 7% in 2024.

“The sharp sales spike in 2021 will likely result in many customers changing devices in 2024 as part of a natural refresh cycle. However, vendors are wary of over-forecasting demand in 2024 as high-interest rates and inflation mean consumers will hold off purchasing new devices,” Le Xuan Chiew, analyst at Canalys said.

Chiew added that the demand for 5G devices has also been revitalized, driven by improvements in affordability and government activity. 

Canalys noted that 5G devices in the sub-$300 grew more than double in 2023 from 6% in January to 14% in December, and is expected to continue momentum in 2024.

“It is increasingly difficult for vendors to differentiate themselves. In the longer term, trends like AI, ecosystem and channel optimization will be the new driving forces of the industry in the region and vendors will have to innovate to drive end-user adoption,” Chiew explained.

In terms of brand, the report showed that Samsung maintained its lead in Southeast Asia with an 18% market share, albeit experiencing a 17% year-over-year decline. It was followed by TRANSSION at the second place after capturing a 16% market share and achieving a remarkable 153% year-over-year growth, thanks to its strong performance in Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as its expansion into new markets. 

Meanwhile, Xiaomi and OPPO both held a 15% market share in the region, with Xiaomi witnessing a 44% growth and OPPO facing a 27% decline year-over-year. 

According to Chiew, the region’s dynamic nature offers ample opportunities for smartphone vendors aiming to broaden their reach.

“Smartphone vendors need to adapt flexibly and collaborate closely with their channel partners to navigate through these evolving trends effectively. With increasing consumer confidence and strategic measures in place, the region presents fertile ground for growth and innovation within the smartphone sector,”  Chiew added.

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