Smartphone imports decline by 3% in Q2

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos put off plans of buying new smartphones in the second quarter as rising prices of food and fuel made a dent on their spending habits.

International Data Corp. (IDC) said smartphone imports in the country dipped by three percent to 4.3 million units in the April to June period against a year ago.

On a quarterly basis, smartphone shipments spiked by nine percent against the 3.9 million units that entered the Philippines in the first quarter.

IDC market analyst for the Philippines Angela Medez said Filipinos who bought phones during the period went for units in the under-$200 segment. Chinese manufacturer Transsion and local maker Cherry Mobile benefitted from these purchases after introducing new models in this price bracket.

However, Medez said demand and supply remained low on an annual comparison. She added that consumers made fewer smartphone purchases in the face of economic troubles that dry up their pockets.

“The number of smartphone shipments below $200 improved significantly quarter on quarter, as players, such as Transsion and Cherry Mobile, launched their new models in this segment, but remained low on an annual basis, due to low demand and supply,” she said.

“The number of shipments for models in higher price categories also slowed down as consumer spending declined due to economic headwinds.”

Medez said the rising cost of living marked by elevated prices of goods and services will weigh down on consumer spending for smartphones for the rest of the year.

Still, IDC projects that smartphone shipments in the Philippines will end with an uptick of two percent against 2021 and flat compared to pre-pandemic levels.

According to IDC, Chinese manufacturers Realme, Transsion and Xiaomi accounted for most of the smartphone market in the Philippines. As of June, Realme held 21.8 percent of the market, while Transsion and Xiaomi accounted for 20.5 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.

South Korean multinational Samsung made up 11.8 percent, while Chinese maker Vivo secured 10.7 percent.

Medez said Realme is expected to sustain its lead in the Philippine market with the launch of its TikTok store and live shopping to become the first smartphone brand to introduce such features in the country.


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