Counterpoint: Smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia will drop sharply in Q3 2022

New research said that although the total smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia fell sharply in the third quarter of 2022, Apple’s iPhone shipments bucked the trend and increased by 63% year-on-year.

In 2019, Apple saw competition from smartphones in the Southeast Asian market, almost all of which were significantly cheaper than the iPhone. Now, with economic pressures mounting, the smartphone market is set to decline 10% in the third quarter of 2022, yet Apple continues to see big gains.

According to Counterpoint Research, economic uncertainty across Southeast Asia was responsible for the lower-than-expected volumes. The drop was mostly seen on phones priced at $200 or less, though higher-end models that cost $400 or more fared better.

The shipments of low-end smartphones in Southeast Asia fell by 24% year-on-year, while high-end models rose by 29% over the same period.

Counterpoint Research said, Q3 2022 also has some brand-level hits and misses. While Samsung's shipments fell by 13% year-on-year, Apple's shipments in all major countries increased by 63% year-on-year.

Counterpoint noted that Vietnam appears to be snapping up iPhones at a faster pace than its neighbors. Buyers in Thailand and the Philippines have reportedly been attracted to 5G, but a lack of 5G coverage means weaker demand in Vietnam and Indonesia.

The research firm expects lower-than-forecast sales to mean manufacturers will build up inventories of older smartphones. Counterpoint said that it hopes to see manufacturers introduce incentives, such as more trade-in offers.

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