The Thai smartphone market declined by 21% at the end of 2022 with 16.6 million devices shipped in the whole year, due to macroeconomic pressures and the lack of government stimulus packages.
IDC stated the Thai government had in previous years launched such campaigns which had increased smartphone adoption in previous years. Steep declines were particularly seen in entry-level devices (under US$200) which shrank to 59% of the market from 64% a year ago. The average selling price (ASP) of entry devices increased by 15% to US$329.
However, the share of 5G smartphones increased by 35% in 2022 from 24%. But the 4G to 5G conversion was “not comparable” to 3G to 4G due to a lack of compelling use cases for consumers due to affordability. Around 5.7 million 5G smartphones were shipped in the year, an increase of 14%.
There was “substantial growth” in the premium segment (over US$800) with an increase of 17% year-on-year. Apple was the dominant vendor in this segment with a 79% share but this is down from 82%.
Flat growth for 2023
IDC Thailand market analyst Apirat Ratanavichit predicted flat growth in the Thai market in 2023 as it continues under stress from inflation, rising interest rates and low growth for the economy.
“Overall consumer spending power is unlikely to rebound in the short term, largely affecting the lower-end segment which comprises the bulk of the smartphone market. On the premium end, IDC expects sustained growth as consumers are attracted to vendor offerings with a superior user experience, better specifications and innovations,” said Ratanavichit.