The Philippine smartphone market declined for the fifth straight quarter in July to September as vendors chose to clear inventories and inflation hit spending patterns, data released by the International Data Corp. (IDC) on Wednesday showed.
 
IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker showed that shipments into the Philippines stood at 3.9 million units in the third quarter, reflecting a quarter-on-quarter drop of 8% and an annual decline of 6.8%.
 
“The Philippine smartphone market quickly shrank in the third quarter as inflation accelerated, further aggravated by recent typhoons, hurting both consumers and vendors,” IDC Philippines senior market analyst Angela Mendez said in a statement.
 
Inflation has continued its uptrend for most of the year, hitting historic highs in the third quarter—6.4% in July, 6.3% in August, and 6.9% in September.
 
It has since accelerated to 7.7% in October, the fastest in nearly 14 years or since December 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis.
 
Broken down in terms of market share, Realme accounted for 23.4%, followed by Transsion with 15.8%, Samsung with 15.6%, OPPO with 15.5%, Vivo with 13.2%, and other companies with 16.6%.
 
The ultra low-end market, or those with units valued at less than $100, posted double-digit growth during the quarter, up by 20.7% from the previous quarter and 21.3% year-on-year.
 
Moving forward, Mendez said the market could see another deceleration in the last three months of the year, despite this being the peak sales period for smartphones.
 
“[A]s inflation is expected to linger and peak towards the end of the year, we anticipate an annual shipment decline towards the end of 2022 as vendors will lower targets for the upcoming holiday season by controlling inventories and increasing prices for newer models to counter the depreciating currency,” she said.
 
The BSP revised its inflation outlook for the year in September to 5.6% from 5.4% previously, given the approved fare increases for most forms of land transportation.  — VBL, GMA Integrated News



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