Thailand’s smartphone market set to grow 3% to 5% in 2024

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand’s smartphone market contracted by 2% in the first quarter due to slow economic recovery, a research paper revealed. However, the government’s digital wallet scheme is projected to stimulate industry growth by 3% to 5% in 2024, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Thailand Smartphone Tracker report.

5G smartphone shipments accounted for 52% of total smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2024, marking a 19% year-on-year increase. This milestone represents the first time 5G shipments have surpassed the 50% mark in total smartphone sales.

Sales of Apple smartphones in Thailand grew 30% year-on-year in the first quarter, driven by the increasing demand for the iPhone 15, which made up 31% of Apple’s portfolio in that period, nearly double the share of its predecessor, the iPhone 14.

Xiaomi also experienced a 30% year-on-year increase in sales, with its models in the US$200 to US$399 segment seeing the most significant gains, surging 157% year-on-year.

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Despite a 15% year-on-year decline in shipments, Samsung led the market with an 18% share. The company faced substantial losses in the low-end segment below US$200 due to intense competition from Chinese brands.

Samsung’s focus on the mid-range US$200 to US$399 price segment paid off, with shipments rising 56% year-on-year, largely driven by the Galaxy A15 5G, Galaxy A25, and Galaxy A34 models.

Smartphone market

Xiaomi’s broader portfolio approach yielded strong performance across low-, mid-, and high-end price segments. The mid-price US$200 to US$399 segment stood out as a key differentiator, with shipments surging following the launch of the Redmi Note 13 and M6 Pro series.

The research indicated that Thailand’s smartphone market began showing positive signs in March, with companies preparing to release new devices featuring the latest technology, including product enhancements, AI integration, and long-lasting battery solutions, the report said.

“We can expect 5G smartphone shipments to rise further as 5G coverage rapidly expands nationwide and consumers increasingly adopt the technology.”

Kamal Singh, a research analyst at Counterpoint, expressed optimism about progressive growth in the coming quarters, driven by increased 5G adoption supported by mobile phone operators, festive sales, and demand for feature-rich devices.

“If the economy improves, we are likely to see 3-5% year-on-year growth this year.”

Singh highlighted that more people in Thailand are switching to 5G, predicting that 5G smartphones could account for around 60% of the total market by the end of the year.

Low-cost smartphones priced below US$200 held 52% of the market share in the first quarter.

Singh mentioned that the digital wallet scheme is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2024, reported Bangkok Post.

“We took the scheme into account when projecting shipments, and we anticipate the fourth quarter will record the highest shipments in 2024, bringing annual shipments to the higher end of the 3-5% growth range.”

He also noted that the primary beneficiaries of the digital handout scheme would be convenience stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets, but a spike in shipments of sub-US$250 smartphones could also be seen.

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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