It may not come as a major surprise, but independent analyst company Canalys has now supplied the figures to back up the expected news that smartphone sales are falling in Southeast Asia.
In fact, Canalys says, in Q2 2022, Southeast Asian smartphone shipments reached 24.5 million units, a 7% drop from the previous quarter. It points out that consumer confidence has been severely hit by growing inflation and vendors are struggling to keep devices affordable in price-sensitive markets.
Malaysia and Indonesia (the largest market in the region) saw smaller-than-expected sequential growth of 6% and 2% respectively. The Philippines market (the second largest) grew 4% versus the previous quarter due to increased spending during its elections. Thailand though was hit by severe forex depreciation against the US dollar and thus saw a 14% quarter-on-quarter decline. Meanwhile, Vietnam saw a 20% decline due to growing consumer uncertainty.
As for vendors, Samsung retained its leading position in Southeast Asia despite a 19% fall from Q1 2022 owing to lower-than-anticipated demand for its mid-to-high-end A series. OPPO maintained its strong performance in second spot with an 18% market share.
Xiaomi maintained third position with flat shipment growth sequentially at 4.0 million units in Q2 2022. Vivo and realme shipped 3.2 million and 2.6 million units respectively. Apple maintained dominance in the premium price segment.
The mid-high-end pricing range was hit hardest as customers cut back on consumer technology purchases due to increased costs for leisure and everyday requirements.
But the most startling assessment might be one from Canalys research analyst Chiew Le Xuan, who said that “The demand for 5G devices has come to a standstill,” and, ominously, that “Practical uses of 5G have yet to be seen, and [it] is especially unnecessary for low-mid devices when 4G speeds are sufficient in day-to-day usage.”
Costs are hitting vendors too, he pointed out. “Maintaining device affordability while boosting profitability is the greatest challenge for vendors,” he suggested.