The Philippines became the latest market where economic headwinds were noted as restricting demand for smartphones in the opening quarter, with Counterpoint Research recording a 9 per cent drop in shipments compared with Q1 2022.

In its overview of the market the analyst company cited high inflation as a factor, noting this also contributed to a build-up of inventory by hindering demand in the final quarter of 2022.

It focused on broader trends in Q1 rather than providing a precise unit shipments figure.

These included an increasingly common theme of growth in the higher tiers of the smartphone sector, with shipments of devices priced $600 and over up 14 per cent.

Shipments in the $200 to $400 bracket declined 22 per cent and the $400 to $600 segment by 24 per cent.

Counterpoint Research noted many consumers were cautious about “discretionary expenditure” as a result of economic headwinds, though this didn’t appear to apply to 5G models, which registered 14 per cent growth.

It highlighted a 20 per cent increase for 5G models in the $200 to $400 range, which it believes indicates these models “are becoming the norm as compared to LTE”.

Realme topped its table with a 21.1 per cent share, though it noted this was as much to do with a drop in Samsung’s showing which left it on 19.6 per cent.

Oppo took 16 per cent, Xiaomi 12.2 per cent and Vivo 11.7 per cent.