Samsung retains leadership in the Brazilian smartphone market

Company rides out recession and secures nearly half of all device sales, says research

Samsung remains the leader in smartphone sales in Brazil, increasing its market share by ten points and securing 42,9 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2015 in comparison to the same period a year ago, says research.

The numbers from research firm Counterpoint suggest that Samsung was helped by the poor performance of smaller brands, which saw their market participation shrink from 28 percent in Q4 2014 to 15,7 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

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Conversely, some 84,3 percent of the Brazilian smartphone market is retained by five brands - and not all of them saw growth within the fourth quarter.

According to the study, Motorola, ranked second in the local market, also increased its market share from 13,6 percent to 15,7 percent during the period between October and December. LG, the third strongest brand, saw a sales drop from 14,4 percent to 12,9 percent.

Apple retained its 7,9 percent market share while Alcatel increased its presence from 3,2 percent to 5 percent.

Last month, Samsung has announced that it would change the focus of its product offering in Brazil to more expensive items in order to keep the ship afloat during the current recession.

The change was prompted by the dollar hike in relation to the local currency, the real - which forces companies to boost prices to partly cover cost increases - and consumer demand for more advanced devices.

A recent study by polling firm Nielsen Ibope suggests that 76,1 million of the 125 million Brazilians who own a mobile device have smartphones.