Premium smartphone (priced more than $400) shipments in the key Southeast Asian markets (SEA) increased 29% YoY in Q3 2022, according to a report by Counterpoint.

However, overall smartphone shipments declined 10% YoY during the quarter as top Southeast Asian markets (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam) continue to face macroeconomic headwinds.

In the quarter, some of the top brands had their hits and misses too. Apple’s shipments grew by 63% YoY across the aforementioned countries. However, Samsung shipments fell 13% YoY.

The global economic slowdown has resulted in weak business and consumer sentiments. Investments have also slowed down, including foreign direct investment (FDI) volumes for some countries. All this has led to key smartphone OEMs collecting more than the required inventory before Q4 2022.

The report pointed out that the massive YoY increase in premium smartphone shipments which grew 29% YoY reflects the resilience of this segment’s customers during the difficult economic times, while the <$200 price band shipments fell 24%.

Source: Counterpoint (2022)

The inflation the region in the region continues to take its toll on consumers. Prices for fuel, overall logistics and staple items went up, causing consumers to hold on to their wallets and defer big expenses like smartphones.

The effect of the same is reflected in the smartphone shipments in the last few quarters.