Significant Growth for Xiaomi and Other Chinese Brands in Latin America in Q1

Consumer Staples Author: EqualOcean News Jun 07, 2024 06:15 PM (GMT+8)

EqualOcean has learned that the market research firm Canalys recently released data indicating that the Latin American smartphone market continued its robust growth in the first quarter of 2024, with shipments reaching 34.9 million units, a 26% year-over-year increase. This marks the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for the market.

Xiaomi technology campus

In terms of vendor rankings, Samsung maintained its leading position with its high-value A series devices, shipping 11.1 million units, a 6% increase. Motorola ranked second with 5.9 million units, a slight increase of 1%. Xiaomi(小米), Transsion(传音), and Honor(荣耀) also showed strong growth, with shipments increasing by 45%, 215%, and 293%, respectively, reaching 5.3 million, 3.4 million, and 2.6 million units, securing their spots among the top five vendors.

Canalys data shows that in the first quarter of 2024, nine out of the top ten vendors achieved significant growth. Notably, the mid-to-low price segment performed exceptionally well, with the highest shipments coming from Samsung's budget A series, Xiaomi's Redmi(红米) series, and Motorola's G series.

In Latin America, AI capabilities and features are becoming increasingly important in smartphone marketing strategies. However, low-cost smartphones dominate the market, presenting unique challenges. While high-end devices highlight generative AI features in their marketing and product strategies, it will take time for these technologies to penetrate and dominate the mid-to-low-end market.

According to Canalys data reviewed by EqualOcean, in the first quarter of 2024, only 7% of smartphones were priced at USD 800 or above, while a staggering 82% were priced below USD 400. Therefore, although marketing campaigns might raise consumer expectations for cutting-edge AI features, manufacturers must ensure that these expectations align with the actual capabilities of low-cost models to avoid consumer disappointment and manage the high costs of upgrades and upselling in this price-sensitive market.

Additionally, data from market research firm Counterpoint indicates that Latin American smartphone shipments fell by 3.3% year-over-year in 2023, reaching 119 million units. Despite fierce competition from Chinese phone brands and strong growth in the second half of 2023 driven by Apple upgrades, the significant drop in shipments in the first half limited overall annual growth.

On a quarterly basis, Latin American smartphone shipments grew by 4.2% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth. In terms of brands, Samsung retained the top spot with a 30.5% market share, down from 39.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Apple achieved its best quarterly performance with a 7.7% market share, while Honor jumped to fifth place with a record-high 4.6% share.

Counterpoint also predicts that the Latin American smartphone market will achieve low single-digit growth in 2024. Most Latin American markets are expected to grow in 2024, except for Argentina, which will continue to decline due to severe macroeconomic crises. Chinese brands are expected to intensify competition in 2024, potentially squeezing the market share of well-known brands like Motorola and even Xiaomi.