The smartphone market has lost nearly 500 brands since 2017.
The smartphone market this year has 250 active brands. However, while this may seem like a large number, when we look at the fact that there were over 700 in 2017, we see that the darkness continues to fall on this industry. This means that in the last six years, almost 500 brands have disappeared from the market.
Although it seems that the smartphone market is stable thanks to companies like Apple and Samsung, we should not forget many other smaller companies who dream of joining the “big league” on a global level.
A new Counterpoint Research report shows that the decline is almost entirely due to local brands, while global brands remain largely consistent. The research also shows several smartphone brands that have been discontinued in India, Africa, China, Japan, the Middle East and even Korea.
Local brands, once known as “local kings” such as Micromax in India and Symphony in Bangladesh have lost significant share or even left it in the last five years.
What accelerated the decline of small brands was the rise of Chinese companies: Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. China has managed to introduce significantly better smartphones at attractive prices, giving customers better value for their money.
Some of the brands were simply eaten by the bigger ones, but it can be said that the smaller companies end up suffering much more than the bigger ones, but some of them still manage to weather the “storm”.
Challenges faced by brands include maturing user base and lengthening device replacement cycles. However, there were also supply chain problems caused by the global epidemic, the economic downturn, technological changes, and the ability of the big tech companies to produce phones in huge quantities ate away at the locals.
The company that made the report predicts that the market will continue to shrink, and the big global companies will logically be in a better position to adapt to any macroeconomic headwinds and technological transitions. However, Counterpoint claims that there are also small manufacturers that could survive, selling their devices on promotions, but offering unique promotions that are not available from other companies.