With markets beginning to reopen towards the end of the third quarter, Samsung was able to increase its shipments by shifting products quickly from its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam to stakeholders further down the channel.

This helped Samsung recapture the leading position in the smartphone market of vital SEA countries.

Samsung A series performed exceptionally well along with the Galaxy S21 range and Flip 3 models. OPPO (19 per cent share) and Vivo (16 per cent share) tried to sustain shipments despite the crunch. Xiaomi was among the OEMs which suffered a bit more than others.

As Samsung and the Chinese giants battled for market supremacy, top OEMs continued to gain share even from the long-tail brands in these countries.

While OEMs and telecom operators continue to target the market with products and promotions, the consumers’ buying sentiment will depend on macro-economic factors like the job market, disposable income levels, city migration, and the restart of tourism.

Q4 2021 will most likely bring healthy volumes for this region’s countries. Consumers who have waited and curtailed their purchases will actively start buying again based on the offers available across channels.

In Q3 2021, SEA suffered from a fresh Covid-19 wave which led to a restrictive economic environment. While the industrial sector focused on the production and technological advancements, consumers faced extended lockdowns and other movement restrictions, resulting in the reduced purchase of non-essential items.

However, as consumers were trying to adapt to the restrictive social and economic environment, there were changes in smartphone purchase dynamics as well. Availability of flagship features in mid-tier smartphones and the ongoing digital transformation are converting smartphones into an essential commodity.