The Latin American smartphone market grew 17% in Q3 2023, breaking downward trend.

Canalys‘ latest analysis of the Latin American smartphone market reveals a strong resurgence in shipments in Q3 2023 following six consecutive quarters of decline. Shipments into the region grew by 17% year-on-year to reach 31.8 million units. This surge in growth materialized following a period of channel inventory stabilization, coupled with a favorable consumer environment preceding the peak sales season.

Samsung maintained a firm grip on the top spot, growing 2% annually and capturing 31% market share. This was driven by the robust expansion of its budget-friendly A-series, complemented by efficient channel and inventory management tactics. Motorola secured second place with a 19% market share, despite declining 2%. Its decline predominantly stemmed from its mid-to-high-end devices. The standout performers of the quarter were Xiaomi and TRANSSION, who boasted annual growth rates of 43% and 159%, respectively. Xiaomi recovered in its core markets such as Chile, Mexico and Peru, while TRANSSION continues to build on its niche markets-focused strategy via the Infinix and Tecno brands. Apple rounded out the top five with a 4% market share, declining 9% year-on-year.

The Latin American smartphone market grew 17% in Q3 2023, breaking downward trend

“In Q3 2023, the region’s key markets grew by double-digits amid improved demand and vendors pushing refreshed portfolios ahead of the holiday season,” said Miguel Perez, Senior Consultant at Canalys. “Brazil and Mexico returned to growth, fueled by improved economic projections, inventory stabilization and demand recovery. Chile showed signs of economic stabilization following measures implemented during the pandemic that significantly affected consumption until the first half of 2023. Central America and Peru are emerging as key markets to new vendors, where TRANSSION, HONOR and ZTE grew by triple digits. The Colombian market was the sole exception to the region’s growth, grappling with an 11% downturn caused by diminishing economic activity during the quarter, linked to the strategic decision by the Bank of the Republic to elevate interest rates, a move aimed at stabilizing the economy and mitigating persistent high inflation.”

The standout vendors in Q3 2023 were the Chinese players Xiaomi, TRANSSION, HONOR, OPPO and ZTE. Xiaomi’s 43% growth allowed it to reach its highest quarterly volume ever in Latin America. Its performance was particularly strong in Brazil, Mexico and Chile, driven by the Redmi 12, 12C, Note 12S and Note 12 4G. TRANSSION continued to leverage the region’s commonly untapped markets such as Central America, the Caribbean and Ecuador, even increasing its shipments.

Beyond the top five, HONOR was the highest-growing vendor, up 123% year on year. HONOR is following a similar channel strategy that Huawei employed a few years ago to gain ground and its progress in Latin America is important amid its IPO ambitions. OPPO and ZTE grew 47% and 88% respectively, and have recovered in key markets such as Mexico, Colombia and Peru, amid healthier inventory levels.

“Despite the substantial growth in Q3 and the optimistic outlook for Q4 2023, the mid-to-long-term perspective for Latin America remains uncertain,” commented Perez. “Social and political uncertainties are poised to inject volatility in demand, leading vendors to brace for significant fluctuations in market performance. However, the overarching trend is anticipated to be one of growth, as the persistent need for smartphones will drive continued installed base growth over the coming years.

The Latin American smartphone market grew 17% in Q3 2023, breaking downward trend

Vendors eyeing an established long-term position should prioritize strategic planning over tactical short-term decisions. This includes ensuring local profitability, continuing robust inventory management practices, offering devices with a clear brand message, and nurturing channel relationships. Emphasizing these strategic pillars is crucial, especially with the anticipated surge in the refresh cycle of low-to-mid-range devices bought in 2021 expected next year.”

LATAM smartphone shipments and annual growth 
Canalys Smartphone Market Pulse: Q3 2023 
Vendor Q3 2023 shipments (million) Q3 2023 
market share 
Q3 2022 
shipments (million) 
Q3 2022 
market share 
Samsung 9.7 31% 9.6 35% 2% 
Motorola 6.0 19% 6.2 23% -2% 
Xiaomi 5.8 18% 4.1 15% 43% 
Transsion 3.0 10% 1.2 4% 159% 
Apple 1.3 4% 1.4 5% -9% 
Others 5.9 19% 4.8 18% 23% 
Total 31.8 100% 27.2 100% 17%
Note: Xiaomi estimates includes sub-brands POCO and Redmi, and TRANSSION includes sub-brands Tecno and Infinix.
Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Source: Canalys Smartphone Analysis (sell-in shipments), November 2023

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Canalys’ worldwide Smartphone Analysis service provides a comprehensive country-level view of shipment estimates.