Thailand Smartphone Shipments Decline in Q120 Due to COVID-19

Article By : IDC

In the first quarter of 2020, the Thailand smartphone market shipped 3.6 million units, declining by 29.8% QoQ, and 20.6% YoY...

In the first quarter of 2020, the Thailand smartphone market shipped 3.6 million units, declining by 29.8% quarter over quarter (QoQ), and 20.6% year over year (YoY).

The first quarter of the year usually records a decline in shipments due to seasonality, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has further caused disruptions to the market resulting in a further decline.

Several brands were affected by the supply shortage caused by the pandemic in February, followed by poor retail activity in March as the situation worsened and then a government declared lockdown in the same month.

Vendors and operators were able to adapt quickly to the interruption in physical retail activities and found alternatives using various online platforms and were able to continue with their sales and marketing through official websites and social media platforms. Despite an increase in online transactions, it was still unable to make up for the loss from physical retail outlets due to the lower adoption rates.

As retail activities start to resume in stages, IDC expects smartphone unit shipments into Thailand to decline again in 2Q2020 and will only start to see growth in 3Q2020. This is due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the local economy where consumers are expected to remain cautious with their spending until the situation improves.

Thailand Top 5 Smartphone Companies, 1Q20 Unit Market Shares

Thailand Top-5 Brand Highlights

OPPO came in as market leader with its popular A-series. It continued to focus on its after-sales services, promotion of features from its high-end smartphone models and expansion of its IoT product lineups.

Samsung continued to be one of the top players in the country with its affordable Galaxy A series. Due to the impact of the pandemic, it recorded lower shipments in 1Q20.

vivo increased its marketing efforts and supported its channel partners. It also focused on its affordable Y series which were well-suited for the price-conscious Thailand market.

Huawei continued to sell older affordable models that still had Google Mobile Services (GMS). During the lockdown, it promoted its retail partners on its social media platforms with partnered promotions.

Apple had its supplies impacted by the pandemic for some of its models but was still able to garner sales due to its strong brand equity in the Thai market.

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