Samsung and Motorola: Over the past ten years, the Brazilian cell phone market has highlighted traditional brands. However, with the emergence of Chinese companies, it is already possible to notice the growth of names like Xiaomi around here. Still, the South Korean Samsung holds almost half of the cell phone market share in Brazil, taking a prominent position already occupied by Nokia in 2011.
Considering a survey from January 2011 to January 2021, with data from Statcounter, we can see that Nokia’s fall opened a lot of space for other companies. At the same time, brands such as Motorola have grown and, years later, big names such as LG and Sony have left the market.
Comparing the three leading brands in the national market in 2011 with 2021, Nokia held the first place (51.91%), Samsung the second (25%) and Sony the third (10.8%). In January of this year, Samsung held the first place (45.29%), Motorola the second (21.58%) and Apple the third (13.42%).
However, we should also look at the possible impacts of LG’s exit from the mobile phone market. Since the second half of 2015, the South Korean company’s mobile sector has posted an operating loss of US$4.1 billion. LG, as a form of damage containment, started to focus its mobile device business on intermediate models, which happened with the launch of the LG Velvet.
In 2012, the company reached 11.08% of the national market share, which peaked at 16.84% in 2014. In December 2018, LG returned to figure with less than 10% market share (9 .85%). With the pace of deceleration, in January 2021 the brand held 6.55% of the national share of cell phones, and later announced the closure of the operation.
Statcounter’s data, however, diverge from the numbers registered by IDC in Brazil. According to the consulting company, LG held 10% of the Brazilian market share until 2020 and was in third position — a space that will now be disputed by other manufacturers. According to IDC Mobile Tracker, Motorola comes in second with about 26.6% of the national market share.
the fight for the top
The gap in the Brazilian market, left by the departure of LG, will now be disputed by other brands. According to Statcounter, Samsung, for example, has held more than 40% of the Brazilian smartphone market since at least December 2016. Motorola, in turn, remains above 20% (with a brief fluctuation in 2018 to 19%) since December 2014, when it won a larger share of the market.
The numbers also indicate a series of actions that are taken by companies, such as portfolio expansion, investments in marketing and distribution. Another company that has been expanding its operations in Brazil is Chinese Xiaomi, which last week announced the opening of five new physical stores in the country, totaling seven units.
The Chinese company arrived in Brazil with a lean operation, for the first time, in 2015. At the time, it only brought one cell phone model that competed in the market with other entry models. In the following year, indications were pointed out that the brand would leave the country, which took place in 2017.
In 2019, the company “returned” to Brazil with an operation in partnership with DL Eletrônicos. In this re-entry, it brought about 100 different products, including seven smartphones. So far, 33 cell phone models and more than 500 products in general have been launched. In May 2021, according to Statcounter, Xiaomi reached 10.18% of the Brazilian market.
During a press conference, Luciano Barbosa, head of the project at Xiaomi Brazil, mentioned that the company has been sought by partners to meet the demand for products, which was impacted by the competitor’s departure. He stressed that the company “is in favor of a more open market” to expand consumer options, but as a business, they try to meet the “supply of products to make up this market gap”.
In parallel, Samsung and Motorola expand their product range in Brazil. In the case of the South Korean, there are currently six models in the Galaxy M line (three from 2021) and 16 from the Galaxy A line (nine from 2021) on the company’s website. On the competitor’s website, there are six Moto E line devices (two from 2021), ten from the Moto G line (five from 2021) and three from the Edge line (all from 2021), composed of advanced intermediates.