Smartphone Shipments Decline in 4Q22, Largest-Ever Quarter-on-Quarter Drop
The latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed a significant drop in worldwide smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q22). Worldwide shipments declined 18.3% year over year to 300.3 million units, marking the largest-ever decline in a single quarter. This contributed to a steep 11.3% decline for the year, ending with a shipment total of 1.21 billion units – the lowest annual shipment total since 2013.
The decline in shipments is largely due to significantly dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties. The outlook for 2023 is looking grim, with the projected 2.8% recovery in serious jeopardy given the difficult end to this year and a high risk of a downward revision.
“We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower than the previous quarter,” said Nabila Popal, research director at IDC. “However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments. Even Apple, which thus far was seemingly immune, suffered a setback in its supply chain with unforeseen lockdowns at its key factories in China. What this holiday quarter tells us is that rising inflation and growing macro concerns continue to stunt consumer spending even more than expected and push out any possible recovery to the very end of 2023.”
Samsung led the market for the year in terms of shipment value share with a 22% share, followed by Apple with 18.8%, and Xiaomi with 12.7%. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple once again led the market with 72.3 million shipments and a 24.1% market share. Coming in second was Samsung, with 58.2 million shipped phones and a 19.4% stake in the market. Xiaomi came in third with 33.2 million shipments and 11% of the market. Oppo (25.3 million) and vivo (22.9 million) rounded out the top-five rankings.
Apple maintained its position as the number one smartphone maker in the world, despite launching its new flagship lineup of iPhones, the iPhone 14 series. The company shipped 72.3 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, down 14.9% year on year, and had a 24.1% market share. The other top smartphone manufacturers, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and vivo, suffered double-digit setbacks in the fourth quarter of 2022.
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