Global smartphone shipments suffer biggest fall in holiday quarter

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Global smartphone shipments declined 18.3 per cent (year-over-year) to 300.3 million units in the holiday quarter of 2022, the largest-ever decline in a single quarter.

According to an IDC report, the Q4 2022 drop contributed to a steep 11.3 per cent decline for the entire year.

The year 2022 ended with shipments of 1.21 billion units, which represents the lowest annual shipment total since 2013 due to significantly dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties.

This tough close to the year puts the 2.8 per cent recovery expected for 2023 in serious jeopardy with heavy downward risk to the forecast, the report mentioned.

“We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower than the previous quarter. However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC.

Chinese vendors suffered massive losses for the entire year.

Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth.

“Vendors are increasingly cautious in their shipments and planning while realigning their focus on profitability. Even Apple, which thus far was seemingly immune, suffered a setback in its supply chain with unforeseen lockdowns at its key factories in China,” said Popal.

According to Anthony Scarsella, another research director with IDC, with 2022 declining more than 11 per cent 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 inventorya.

“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.

–IANS

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