Sales of smartphones are expected to remain strong over the forecast period. Consumers continue to demand more storage, with better processors and advanced cameras, seeking smartphones that can support entertainment and activities such as games, videos and the creation of spreadsheets and presentations.
Smartphones was significantly impacted by the implementation of the new tax reform, not only as a result of the increment from 16% to 19% but also the VAT exemption for mobile phones under COP700,000, which led to an increase in category size in terms of volume but a decrease in value. According to trade sources, these measures made it difficult for domestic brands to make inroads in this industry, despite the government’s priority of making this technology more accessible to consumers.
During the last two years of the review period, investments by carriers have been scarce. However, ongoing advancements in network technology are being made by major carriers such as Movistar and Tigo to improve their infrastructure to provide users with 4.
Huawei leads in mobile phones as it enjoys a widespread presence in the main retailers in the country and is present with a broad range of products at different price bands. Brands such as Huawei have become popular through their offer of high quality products at marginally lower prices in its entry and mid-level brands.
The range of smartphones available in the country is promoted via highly aggressive marketing strategies including intensive advertising as well as stand-alone stores located in strategic shopping malls, enhancing consumers experience and extending the consumer base. Consumers are constantly looking for a combination of performance, features and price.
Competition in this category is aggressive and mainly characterised by international companies, with two domestic brands – Aprix and Kalley – gaining marginal share, due to their portfolios of models targeted at low- and middle-income consumers. Both brands are assembled in China where costs are lower, although their products tend to be more basic, making it difficult to remain competitive against similar brands with a stronger positioning and technological appeal to consumer preferences.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Electronics market research database.