28 Jun 2021

Thailand’s Smartphone Market Increased 70.9% YoY in 1Q21, Breaking the Seasonal Trend

BANGKOK, June 28, 2021– According to the International Data Corporation ’s (IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Thailand’s smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2021 grew 70.9% year-over-year and 34.2% quarter-over-quarter to 6.35 million units amid the second wave of the COVID pandemic.

This broke the seasonal trend when the first quarter usually shows a QoQ drop. On top of the strong carry-over demand from 4Q20 when vendors faced supply shortages, there was also new demand as users looked to buy a new smartphone or upgrade their old smartphones to receive the COVID-19 stimulus package through the "Pao Tung" application. Affordable 5G smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy A52 and OPPO Reno 5-series also gained popularity and helped to accelerate 5G adoption.

“The Thai govt announced multiple COVID-19 stimulus packages recently, and in order to receive the handouts conveniently through e-wallets, Thai citizens upgraded their smartphones or switched to a smartphone despite the economic slowdown. This resulted in strong demand in the low-end smartphone segment,” says Teerit Paowan, Client Devices Market Analyst at IDC Thailand.

Top 5 Smartphone Vendor Highlights

Samsung regained the top spot as it launched various new models, ranging from the more affordable A-series to the new online-exclusive M-series. But the highlight was the early launch of its flagship Galaxy S21-series, targeting Huawei's flagship phone users.

Xiaomi expanded its channels with more retail chains, adding more than 230 stores to its portfolio. Channel partners also stocked up on inventory as they anticipated price increases in the coming period.​

vivo’s shipments mostly continued to be from the Y-series, with the Y12s being a major contributor, while the V-series dropped due to its high shipments in 4Q20. ​

OPPO’s newly launched A15s, Reno 5-series, and the premium Find X3 Pro received good market responses. However, a shortage continued in various low-end and mid-range models due to logistics issues during the Chinese New Year period. 

Apple’s new iPhone 12 series continued to see strong demand, especially the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, which continued to see strong demand in the telco channel.

“Telcos are expected to focus on 5G handsets rather than 4G, especially mid-range 5G smartphones. This could drive 5G smartphone shipments as well as telco channel share,” said Teerit Paowan, Client Devices Market Analyst at IDC Thailand. “Android vendors are expected to bring lower-priced 5G smartphones, which will drive the shift from 4G to 5G at a faster pace.”

For more information about IDC’s tracker products and research services, please contact Teerit Paowan at tpaowan@idc.com. For media inquiries, please contact Jane Yap at jqyap@idc.com.


About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, company share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.


Companies Covered

OPPO Electronics Corp., Xiaomi Inc., VIVO S.A., Apple Inc., Samsung

Regions Covered


Topics Covered


For more information, contact:

Jane Jia Qi Yap (EXT)(jqyap)
+60 014-2209695

Teerit Paowan (tpaowan)
+66 870385336