Smartphone imports down

Smartphone imports down

Shoppers peruse smartphones at The Mall Bang Kapi shopping centre on May 17. (Photo:  Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Shoppers peruse smartphones at The Mall Bang Kapi shopping centre on May 17. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Smartphone imports fell 20.6% year-on-year to 3.6 million units in the first quarter, chiefly because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to IDC Thailand, the local unit of the global research firm.

Shipments to Thailand plunged 29.8% quarterly with the pandemic aggravating a usual seasonal decline in the first quarter, IDC said. 

In February, various brands faced a short supply due to the pandemic, and the following month, marketing campaigns ground to a halt with a lockdown later declared by the government. 

“Despite an increase in online transactions, this was unable to make up for the losses by physical retail outlets, due to a low adoption rate,” IDC said. 

IDC said as retail activities were unlikely to quickly return, smartphone imports were expected to fall further in the second quarter. 

Growth was expected in the third quarter, it said. 

“Consumers are expected to remain cautious with their spending until the situation improves,” IDC said.

Oppo retained the market share leader in the first quarter as its A-series gained popularity. It was followed by Samsung with its firm market share led by its affordable Galaxy A series. 

Vivo was third, after the Chinese vendor scaled up 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,” IDC said. 

Huawei’s first-quarter smartphone market share was fourth, up one position from last year’s final quarter. 

According to IDC, Huawei’s affordable models with Google mobile services were still sold, while it partnered with retail operators to carry out promotion campaigns via social media platforms during the lockdown.

Apple ranked fifth as the pandemic affected supplies of some of its models.

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