Link Estadão

Cell phone sales up 3.3% in Brazil in 2019, says IDC

Dollar and coronavirus make forecasts for 2020 very uncertain

Dollar and coronavirus make forecasts for 2020 very uncertain

The Brazilian cellphone market rose 3.3% last year, with the sale of 48.6 million handsets, the consultancy IDC Brasil said on Thursday. According to a survey carried out by the company, 45.5 million smartphones and 3.1 million simple cell phones throughout 2019 compared to 2018, the hikes were 2.2% and 23.5%, respectively. The sector's revenue also grew, to R $ 56.7 billion, an increase of 5.6% in relation to the previous year.

According to Renato Meireles, an analyst at IDC Brasil, the year was marked by the arrival of new brands and the launch of innovative devices, which drew the attention of consumers who are already in their fourth or fifth smartphone, he said in a press release. It also relates to the good sale of simple cell phones (so-called feature phones) lack of confidence in the economy. Until the third quarter, the consumer went after this type of device because it is much cheaper.

Illegal market had explosion

There was another number that grew a lot: the illegal handset market rose 344%, estimates the consultancy. There were 3.8 million smartphones sold in this way, the number includes contraband and counterfeit cell phones. With new manufacturers in the Brazilian market launching robust specifications, the consumer sought retailers who practiced this illegal sale and found prices well below the market, says Meireles.

659 thousand “illegal” pieces were sold on the Brazilian market between April and June 2019

659 thousand “illegal” pieces were sold on the Brazilian market between April and June 2019

In a press release, the consultancy says it found illegal devices being sold for less than half the price in official stores. Among the brands that entered the Brazilian market last year, the main highlights are with Chinese Huawei and Xiaomi s in the second quarter, just at the time that the two brands arrived in the country, there was a 659% jump in sales of unofficial devices. At the time, the State found that other Chinese brands that are not in Brazil also have representativeness in the illegal market, the case of Oppo and Vivo, which always appear in the rankings of the largest manufacturers in the world.

Forecast for 2020 uncertain

In Meireles' view, making predictions about the smartphone market for 2020 is still complicated. So far, the forecast that the smartphone market will reach the end of 2020 with a 2% increase, considering the consumer confidence indexes and the reforms that are to come, he says. However, the dollar fluctuation and the coronavirus outbreak can directly impact the expected results, he says.