Thailand Smartphone Market Up 18% YoY in Q1

Article By : Counterpoint Technology Market Research

Thailand witnessed a strong 18% year-on-year (YoY) growth in its smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2021, according to Counterpoint Research.

Thailand witnessed a strong 18% year-on-year (YoY) growth in its smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Thailand Channel Share Tracker.

Many factors played a part in this growth. These included a spill over of pent-up demand from the fourth quarter last year, and aggressive schemes and offers from OEMs and channel partners with an emphasis on online mediums. The Thai economy has seen some volatility in the last five quarters. Even as small COVID-19 resurgences continue, the country’s post-pandemic measures are taking effect, with consumers showing a healthy demand for smartphones.

Thailand is the most mature market in the Southeast Asian region. Commenting on what has changed over the last few quarters, Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza said, “The top six brands are aggressively trying to capture more market share but there are other brands at play as well. The declining volumes of Huawei and HONOR, and the upcoming Transsion brands like Infinix and TECNO are all variables that continue to add volatility to this strong smartphone market. Brands like Xiaomi and realme are trying hard to capitalize on their online prowess to improve their presence.”

The supply crunch is affecting smartphone brands in this country as well. Since shipments are not up to the mark, the full potential of sales is not being utilized.

Online sales increased 49% YoY in Q1 2021, which is a much-needed positive when COVID-19 and supply crunch are pulling sales numbers down. As stocks move faster through online channels, brands are aggressively promoting and discounting their smartphone models. OPPO makes up the biggest piece of this online sales pie, followed closely by Samsung and vivo.

Well-established online players like Lazada, Shopee and newly empowered JD.com are partners to mostly brands with an online presence. Thailand has a sizeable consumer base that has relatively more discretionary income to invest in smartphones, mainly through online channels. This proportion is higher than all other SEA countries. It is precisely why Thailand is most likely to have the highest online channel growth in the coming quarters.

Apart from an evolved online channel, Thailand shows a high growth rate of 5G capable smartphones. In Q1 2021, more than 30% of its shipments consisted of 5G capable smartphones. As the country braces for some big 5G-related infrastructural changes, its telecom industry is making sure to work with the government and smartphone OEMs to effectively cater to an evolved consumer’s demand. This, however, will depend on many factors affecting the economy, like the potential of telecom giants to grow their 5G infrastructure, COVID-19 vaccination levels, and consumer purchase decision dynamics.

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