Smartphone shipments continue to fall, but how worst may be over

Worldwide smartphone shipments have declined for the eighth consecutive quarter. According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), 265.3 million units of smartphones were shipped globally in the second quarter of 2023. The shipments have dropped by 7.8% since last year’s Q2. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report claims that the market struggles with soft demand, inflation, macroeconomic uncertainties, and excess inventory.However, there’s a silver lining as the report notes that the rate of decline is slowing compared to previous quarters.

Commenting on the current market scenario, IDC’s research director Nabila Popal said: “The good news is that inventory levels are improving and the latest market chatter suggests that by Q3 excess inventory in finished devices and components should clear up. As inventory levels normalize, we are finally hearing optimism from key OEMs and supply chains and expect the market to return to growth by the end of the year and into 2024. As the market ramps back up, it is also an opportunity for vendors to gain share. IDC expects a shift in the vendor rankings at the bottom of the stack, as we already see happening this quarter with Transsion entering the Top 5 for the first time.”
Smartphone markets in different regions

After five quarters of significant double-digit contractions, China witnessed a year-over-year decline of 2.1% in Q2 2023. The report adds that the market performance is better than in past quarters, however, consumer sentiment and spending remain low. As per the report, 618 online shopping festivals in June were expected to boost sales in China, but smartphone sales saw a 6.5% YoY drop at this time. Other major regions include Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China), the US and Europe and the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) also saw shipments decline by 5.9%, 19.1%, and 3.1%, respectively in 2Q23.

Another research director at IDC, Anthony Scarsella said: “Although the first half of the year has presented many challenges to the market, we believe that there remains plenty of opportunity awaiting in the second half of the year. The foldable market remains an exciting product to consumers, and the arrival of new models and new vendors joining the race will hopefully translate to wider adoption and lower prices. Moreover, we expect the foldable market to grow nearly 50% in 2023 while the total market remains down.”
Biggest gainers and losers

Company2Q23 Shipments2Q23 Market Share2Q22 Shipments2Q22 Market ShareYear-Over-Year Change
1. Samsung53.520.2%63.121.9%-15.2%
2. Apple42.516.0%45.415.8%-6.3%
3. Xiaomi33.212.5%39.513.8%-16.0%
4. Oppo*25.49.6%27.49.5%-7.6%
4. Transsion*25.39.5%18.86.5%34.1%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, July 27, 2023

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