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The Philippine smartphone market shrank 8.6% in 2022 as a result of inflation, which decreased the purchasing power of consumers, according to the International Data Corp. (IDC).

“Though the last quarter in 2022 grew 6.3% quarter over quarter, it registered a 16.3% decline compared to last year as several vendors focused on clearing out inventories rather than bringing in new shipments during the holiday season due to unfavorable market conditions,” the market intelligence firm said in a statement on Feb. 17.

The IDC noted that there were 16.3 million smartphone units shipped last year, a decrease from 17.83 million shipments in 2021.

“Both consumer and vendor confidence have been seriously dampened as inflation progressively soared throughout 2022 ending the year at a 14-year high,” IDC Philippines Market Analyst Angela Jenny V. Medez said.

The smartphone brand that shipped the most number of units in the Philippines in 2022 was realme, with 3.72 million, followed by Transsion (2.92 million), OPPO (2.30 million), Samsung (2.20 million), Xiaomi (1.86 million), and other brands (3.31 million).

“realme maintained the top spot in 2022 by launching several new smartphones in the narzo series to cater to the price-conscious customer, while Transsion was the only company in the Top 5 rankings that registered growth,” the IDC said.

Both of the brand’s Infinix and Tecno upscaled their products in bringing in more models in the higher price range of $100+, such as Infinix’ Note series and Tecno’s Pova and Camon series, while itel continued to cater to the entry-level segment, the market intelligence firm noted.

“Though inventory levels started to normalize towards the end of 2022, IDC is lowering its forecast for 2023 as vendors will remain cautious in their shipments amid the looming economic uncertainties and accelerating inflation,” Ms. Medez said. — Patricia B. Mirasol