Global smartphone shipments in 2022 are down 13% from 2021, according to a report by research firm Institutional Development Cell. Mobile device manufacturers shipped 18.3% fewer products year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year - 300 million units.
Global smartphone shipments in 2022 totaled 1.21 billion units, the lowest annual volume shipped since 2013. The decline is due to lower consumer demand, inflation and economic uncertainty, IDC explains. Analysts expect the market to recover slightly in 2023.
Researchers have never seen holiday quarter shipments lower than in the previous three months, said IDC Worldwide Tracker group research director Nabila Popal. She said weakening demand and high inventories had forced suppliers to drastically reduce shipments.
Intense sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventories rather than boosting shipments, Popal said. She added that suppliers are becoming more cautious about shipments and planning, with companies trying to shift their focus to profitability.
Even Apple suffered a setback in its supply chain because of unexpected constraints at key facilities in China, although the corporation previously seemed immune to such difficulties, Popal said.
The holiday quarter figures show rising inflation and other macroeconomic issues that are holding back consumer spending even more than analysts had expected. This pushes back a possible market recovery to late 2023, Popal concluded.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple shipped 72.3 million smartphones (85 million in the same period of 2021), Samsung shipped 58.2 million (69 million) and Xiaomi shipped 33 million (45 million). OPPO and Vivo were also in the top five for shipments in the last three months of last year. Apple's market share in the fourth quarter was 24.1% (23.1% for the same period in 2021), Samsung's was 19.4% (18.8%) and Xiaomi's was 11% (8.2%).
Worldwide shipments by Samsung in 2022 were 260.9 million devices compared to 272.1 million in the same period last year, Apple 226.4 million compared to 235.8 million, Xiaomi 153.1 million compared to 191 million. Global shipments by Samsung accounted for 21.6% (20% in 2021), Apple for 18.8% (17.3%) and Xiaomi for 12.7% (14%).