Declining smartphone market again sees Apple the only winner

We learned last week that Apple continued to build market share in a declining smartphone market in the US, and a new market intelligence report suggests the iPhone maker has repeated this trick in Southeast Asia.

Apple was the only major brand to grow shipments during the first quarter of the year, across five countries…

Apple faring best in a declining smartphone market

The smartphone market is a challenging one at the best of times, with most brands struggling to make a profit even in boom times. For many years now, Apple has grabbed the lion’s share of smartphone profits.

But – pandemic boost aside – the trend in recent years has been downward, with shipments falling year-on-year. This reflects the fact that smartphones themselves are a mature technology, with more incremental changes than must-have ones. Where people once upgraded every 1-2 years, the average upgrade cycle now is in the 3-4 year range.

But even in a declining market, Apple is holding its own far better than other brands – experiencing smaller falls in shipments, and growing its market share. The company has also managed to maintain iPhone revenue growth from fewer sales thanks to more expensive models boosting the average selling price.

Apple the only winner in Southeast Asia

The Cupertino company has again emerged as the only winner, this time in Southeast Asia. Counterpoint reports that while smartphone shipments as a whole fell in Q1, Apple actually increased its shipments.

Smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia’s five key countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia) fell 13% YoY due to low demand and a seasonal drop, according to Counterpoint Research’s Southeast Asia Monthly Smartphone Channel Share Tracker […]

Vietnam is a growing Apple iPhone market. The demand for the iPhone 13 and 14 series was good in Q1 2023. Indonesia has seen growth in iPhone shipments as well. Overall, iPhone shipments grew 18% YoY in Q1 2023.

The market intelligence company says that Apple was the only brand to achieve growth:

  • Apple +18%
  • Realme -5%
  • Oppo –10%
  • We –13%
  • Samsung –16%
  • Vivo –26%

The success of the iPhone is attributed in part to the most well-off consumers being less affected by the difficult economy.

Saigon photo: Peter Nguyen/Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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