Smartphone market challenges continue as shipments fall again

Smartphone market challenges continue as shipments fall again

Analyst reports show recovery isn’t imminent Challenging conditions in the global smartphone market are showing no signs of easing(opens in new tab) anytime soon, according to reports from multiple analysts that suggest shipments fell once again during the second quarter of 2022.

IDC says shipments fell for the fourth consecutive quarter to 286 million units – a decline of 8.7% and about 3.5% lower than forecast. 

Meanwhile Counterpoint Research puts the decline at 9% and volumes at 295 million units.

China smartphone sales

The smartphone industry had hoped that 2022 would be a year of recovery after the pandemic, but supply chain problems and shortages of component parts have been made worse by growing living expenses and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Further lockdowns in China have made this confluence of economic, geopolitical, and manufacturing problems worse; this has hurt Chinese merchants in particular.

Both analyst reports note double digit declines for Xiaomi (IDC: 25.5%, Counterpoint: 25%), Oppo (24.6%, 15%) and Vivo (21.8%, 22%) as they struggle with conditions and lower demand in their homeland.

Samsung remains the world’s largest manufacturer in terms of volume. IDC says shipments were up 5.4% to 62.4 million, while Counterpoint report a 9% increase to 62.5 million. This keeps it ahead of Apple which increased shipments by 0.5% to 44.6 million according to IDC. Counterpoint claims Apple shipped more units (46.5 million) but this was 5% lower year-on-year.

“What started out as a supply-constrained industry earlier this year has turned into a demand-constrained market,” said Nabila Popal, a research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team.

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Despite the fact that supply expanded as capacity and production increased, roaring inflation and economic uncertainty adversely reduced consumer spending and raised inventories in all regions. Due to the ongoing difficulties in their biggest market, Chinese suppliers have made the biggest reductions in orders for the remainder of the year.

“The outlook for the 2022 smartphone market will undoubtedly be lowered down a few points, even though we do anticipate demand to start rising up in several regions before the end of the year. We still maintain the view that any drop in demand today simply moves it forward rather than eliminating it.

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