Smartphone shipments fall globally for third straight quarter, Samsung and Apple keep growing: reports

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Global smartphone shipments reportedly fell by up to 11 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. This marks the third consecutive quarter of annual declines in smartphone volume amid component shortages impacting shipments in global regions. However, despite the drop in shipments, Samsung is still the market leader, followed by Apple and Xiaomi. The South Korean giant even managed to achieve its highest global smartphone market share in five years in the last quarter.

Global smartphone shipments fell 11 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to 314 million units, according to strategy consulting firm Strategy Analytics. Ongoing challenges, including supply shortages, are believed to be the reason for the impact on smartphone supplies.

“Meanwhile, adverse economic conditions, geopolitical issues, as well as COVID-19 disruption (China rolling lockdown, etc.) further weakened consumer demand for smartphones and other non-essential products,” said Linda Sui, senior director at Strategy Analytics. in a prepared statement.

Similar to Strategy Analytics, analyst firm Counterpoint has reported that the global smartphone market declined 7 percent year-on-year, with a total of 328 million units shipped in the first quarter. Counterpoint analysts consider the same reasons for the drop identified by Strategy Analytics researchers.

Global smartphone shipments fell 10.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter
Photo credit: Strategy Analytics

Counterpoint also said the global smartphone market saw a seasonal decline of 12 percent sequentially in the first quarter. The resurgence of COVID earlier in the quarter and the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia are believed to be among the main reasons for the decline.

The report, released by Strategy Analytics, shows that Samsung continues to lead the market even though its third-quarter shipments fell 2.7 percent year-on-year to 74.5 million. The company achieved a 23.8 percent share, which was its highest first-quarter performance by market share since 2017.

Counterpoint’s report also shows Samsung as the market leader, although its first-quarter shipments are said to have fallen three percent year-on-year to 74 million units. The company said that Samsung was one of only two top five smartphone brands to come close to its pre-pandemic first quarter shipments.

The reason for Samsung’s success is the good customer response to the Galaxy S22 models. Counterpoint said the new flagships helped the company propel shipment growth of 7 percent sequentially.

After Samsung, Apple maintained its second position in the global smartphone market with a share of 18.2 percent in the first quarter, reports Strategy Analytics. The company shipped 57 million iPhone units in the quarter, growing 1 percent year over year.

Strategy Analytics also said that Apple captured its highest first-quarter market share since 2013.

Counterpoint shows that Apple’s first-quarter shipments were flat at 59 million units compared to the year-ago quarter. According to the company, the company suffered a decline of one percent year-on-year. However, strong demand for the iPhone 13 series and the launch of the 5G-enabled iPhone SE (2022) helped Apple increase its market share from 17 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to 18 percent in the last quarter.

Apple’s quarterly shipments were also down 28 percent, according to Counterpoint — mostly due to seasonality.

Unlike Samsung and Apple, both of which didn’t make much of an impact on the overall decline, Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo (consisting of Oppo and OnePlus) and Vivo saw a significant drop – largely due to sluggish performance in their home market.

According to Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi shipped 39 million smartphones in the first quarter, which helped capture a 12 percent share of the global market. However, the company’s market share fell by two percent from 14 percent last year.

“Xiaomi suffered from the geopolitical uncertainties in Europe. The market in China and India also presented a mixed picture for the Chinese brand,” said Yiwen Wu, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Counterpoint’s report also shows that Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments fell 20 percent year-on-year to 39 million units in the first quarter. The company also shows a 2 percent decline in company ownership from 14 percent in the same quarter last year.

Counterpoint believes that the decline in Xiaomi’s market performance is due to the relatively poor performance of the Redmi 9A and Redmi Note 10S smartphones, as well as chip shortages. The latter are hurting the Beijing-based company “more severely than other providers” in the market.

After Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo also faced a drop in their shipments. Strategy analytics shows that Oppo (including OnePlus) captured 10 percent of the global market, while Vivo had eight percent in the first quarter.

According to Counterpoint’s report, last quarter’s Oppo shipments fell 19 percent year-on-year to 31 million units, while Vivo saw a 19 percent year-on-year decline to 28.6 million units.

Smartphone shipments worldwide Q1 2022 counterpoint smartphone shipments smartphone

Smartphone shipments fell in the first quarter, although Samsung and Apple continued to lead the market
Photo credit: counterpoint

Alongside Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, Counterpoint said Honor has emerged as a strong contender from China. The company, which is separate from Huawei, posted 148 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter to 16 million units. It also achieved seven percent quarter-on-quarter growth.

According to Counterpoint, Honor’s market share increased to 5 percent in the quarter, up from 4 percent last quarter and 2 percent in the same quarter last year.

Realme was also able to increase its deliveries in the first quarter compared to the previous year by 13 percent to 14.5 million units. The company, which is owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus, saw massive expansion in the overseas market during the quarter, with a 163 percent annual growth in its shipments, particularly from Europe. However, Realme’s global shipments were down 30 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Realme also emerged as the only brand among the top five players in India, posting 40 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter, according to the Counterpoint report.

Transsion Holdings, which owns the Infinix, Tecno and Itel brands, also continued to grow in the market, with annual growth of 23 percent. This was primarily due to Infinix, which grew 76 percent year-on-year and four percent quarter-on-quarter, according to Counterpoint, with its shipments increasing in India and the rest of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa.

Tecno’s shipments also rose 28 percent year-on-year, although Itel posted a three percent decline, the company said.

According to a forecast by Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments for the full year 2022 would shrink by up to two percent year-on-year.

“This year will be a story of two halves. Geopolitical issues, component shortages, price inflation, exchange rate volatility and COVID disruptions will continue to weigh on the smartphone market in the first half of 2022 before the situation eases in the second half due to COVID vaccines, central bank rate hikes and fewer factory supply disruptions ” said Linda Sui, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics.


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