Global smartphone shipments last year declined to the lowest since 2013, IDC says

    Global smartphone shipment declined due to dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties, the report noted.


    Annual global smartphone shipments last year fell to the lowest since 2013, according to a report by International Data Corporation. Additionally, despite the holiday season, smartphone shipments suffered the largest-ever single-quarter decline in the fourth quarter of 2022.


    In 2022, smartphone shipments stood at 1.21 billion units which is a fall from 1.36 billion units in 2021. This marks a decline of 11.3% for the year. Last year’s number also represents the lowest annual shipment total since 2013, IDC noted; citing significantly dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties as some of the reasons for the same.


    Talking in terms of a quarter, smartphone shipments worldwide stood at 300.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2022, down from 367.6 million in the same quarter in the preceding year. This is a fall of 18.3% on-year, the largest-ever fall in a single quarter.


    “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,” said Nabila Popal, research director at IDC.


    “Even Apple, which thus far was seemingly immune, suffered a setback in its supply chain with unforeseen lockdowns at its key factories in China,” she added. The iPhone maker shipped 72.3 million units in 4Q 2022, down from 85 million units in the same quarter in 2021. Apple’s annual shipments fell to 226.4 million units in 2022 from 235.8 million units in the preceding year.


    Production at the world’s largest iPhone plant at China’s facility in Zhengzhou city, also known as the iPhone city, was affected as workers protested against the delay in bonuses, food shortages, and poor living conditions caused by the stringent Covid restrictions in the country.


    “With 2022 declining more than 11% for the year, 2023 is set up to be a year of caution as vendors will rethink their portfolio of devices while channels will think twice before taking on excess inventory,” said Anthony Scarsella, research director at IDC.


    “However, on a positive note, consumers may find even more generous trade-in offers and promotions continuing well into 2023 as the market will think of new methods to drive upgrades and sell more devices, specifically high-end models,” he added.


    author avatar
    Monika Asthana




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