The Latin American smartphone market declined by 10% year-on-year in Q1 2023 to 28 million units, a fifth consecutive quarter of decline for the region but a rebound is predicted for H2, according to analyst company Canalys.
Canalys senior consultant Miguel Perez: “It was a challenging start to 2023 for LATAM. There was a huge variation in performance between vendors and markets, reflecting a difficult business environment.
“Some vendors had to continue prioritizing reducing their channel inventory levels, while others reached healthy levels early in the quarter, experiencing growth in Q1.
“Although the annual decline in Q1 2023 reflects a continued difficult environment, healthier inventory levels and increases in general consumer spending point toward signs of a rebound in the second half of the year. It will be important for vendors to now position themselves well in the market for the anticipated rebound."
Despite the decline, Apple saw its presence grow in LATAM with shipments growing 13% in the quarter. Purchasing power in LATAM nations has been restricted compared to other countries, but Apple has been focusing on the region for growth as it faces a “challenging environment in North America and Europe, noted Perez.
Chinese vendor Oppo grew the most out of the top five vendors with shipments growing 35%, establishing its presence in Mexico and expanding to Colombia, Peru and Chile.
Samsung was the top shipping manufacturer with 10.5 million units and 38% market share. In second was Motorola with 5.9 million and 21%, and Xiaomi took the final podium with 3.7 million and 13%. Rounding off the top four was Oppo with 1.3 million units and 5 % market share, and other vendors made up collectively 4.7 million units accounting for 17% of the market.
Perez added: "The competitive dynamics between the top three vendors remain as steady as ever, while competition remains fierce outside of the top three.
“Samsung has been first placed in every single quarter for over a decade due to a strong positioning developed over time with good channel management which has allowed a broader presence to the brand, given the intensifying competition. Despite declining by 21% in Q1 2023, Samsung remains unchallenged for the top spot.
“Motorola had a solid start to the year, mainly driven by the new E and G series product launches, delivering strong performances in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Xiaomi secured third place despite facing local headwinds in Mexico, Colombia and Peru, countries which counted for over 60% of its shipments last year."