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Global smartphone shipments fall for third consecutive quarter, Samsung and Apple continue to rise: reports

According to reports, global smartphone shipments fell 11 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. This is the third consecutive quarter of annual declines in smartphone sales amid component shortages that are impacting shipments in regions around the world. However, despite the drop in shipments, Samsung continues to be the market leader, followed by Apple and Xiaomi. The South Korean giant even managed to achieve the highest global smartphone market share in the past five years in the last quarter.

In accordance with strategy consulting firm Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments fell 11 percent year on year to 314 million units in the first quarter. Current issues, including supply restrictions, are believed to be the cause affecting smartphone shipments.

“Meanwhile, adverse economic conditions, geopolitical challenges, as well as disruptions due to COVID-19 (the ongoing lockdown in China, etc.) continued to dampen consumer demand for smartphones and other non-essential products,” said Linda Sui, Senior Director Strategy Analytics, in a prepared statement.

Similar to Strategy Analytics, analytics firm Counterpoint reported that the global smartphone market shrank by seven percent year-on-year, with total first-quarter shipments of 328 million units. Counterpoint analysts are looking at the same reasons for the fall that were noted by Strategy Analytics researchers.

Global smartphone shipments fell 10.9% year-on-year in the first quarter.
Photo: Strategic Analytics

Counterpoint also reported that the global smartphone market experienced a seasonal decline of 12 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter. The surge in COVID earlier in the quarter and the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict are seen as one of the key reasons for the decline.

A report published by Strategy Analytics shows that Samsung continues to lead the market, although its shipments fell 2.7% year-on-year to 74.5 million in the third quarter. The company received a share of 23.8%, its highest first-quarter result in market share since 2017.

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

It is believed that the reason for Samsung’s success is the good customer response to the Galaxy S22 models. Counterpoint said the new flagships helped the company achieve a seven percent increase in shipments from the previous quarter.

Apple retained its second position behind Samsung in the global smartphone market in the first quarter with an 18.2% share, according to Strategy Analytics. The company shipped 57 million iPhones in the quarter and managed to record a one percent year-on-year growth.

Strategy Analytics also reported that Apple captured the highest market share in the first quarter since 2013.

Counterpoint shows that Apple’s Q1 shipments were flat from the same quarter last year at 59 million units. The company is facing a one percent year-on-year drop, according to the firm. However, strong demand for the iPhone 13 series and the launch of the 5G iPhone SE (2022) helped Apple increase its market share to 18 percent in the latest quarter from 17 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

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

Unlike Samsung and Apple, which haven’t been hit much by the overall downturn, Chinese brands including Xiaomi, Oppo (including Oppo and OnePlus) and Vivo have been hit hard, mostly due to sluggish performance in their home market.

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

“Xiaomi has been hit by geopolitical uncertainty in Europe. The Chinese and Indian market has also provided mixed reviews for the Chinese brand,” said Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Counterpoint’s report also shows that Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments dropped 20% year-on-year to 39 million units in the first quarter. The firm also shows a two percent drop in the company’s share from 14 percent in the same quarter last year.

Counterpoint believes that Xiaomi’s decline in market performance was caused by the relatively weak performance of the Redmi 9A and Redmi Note 10S smartphones, as well as a shortage of chips. The latter are said to hurt the Beijing company “more seriously than other suppliers” in the market.

Following Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo also faced a drop in their supplies. Strategy Analytics shows that Oppo (including OnePlus) captured 10 percent of the global market and Vivo captured eight percent in the first quarter.

Counterpoint’s report said that Oppo’s shipments were down 19 percent year-on-year to 31 million units in the latest quarter, while Vivo saw a 19 percent year-on-year decline to 28.6 million units.

global smartphone shipments Q1 2022 counterpoint

Smartphone shipments declined in the first quarter, although Samsung and Apple still lead the market.
Photo Credit: Counterpoint

Counterpoint said that along with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, Honor has become a strong contender from China. The Huawei spin-off company posted a 148% year-on-year growth to 16 million units in the first quarter. It also received a seven percent increase from the previous quarter.

Honor’s market share rose to five percent this quarter, up from four percent in the previous quarter and two percent in the same quarter last year, according to Counterpoint.

Realme also managed to increase its shipments by 13 percent year on year to 14.5 million units in the first quarter. The BBK Electronics-owned company, which also owns Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus, saw massive overseas expansion during the quarter, with shipments from Europe up 163% year-on-year. However, Realme’s global shipments fell 30 percent from the previous quarter.

According to Counterpoint’s report, Realme was also the only brand in the top 5 players in India with a year-on-year growth of 40 percent in the first quarter.

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

Tecno shipments also increased 28% year-on-year, although Itel saw a 3% drop, the firm said.

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will fall by 2 percent year-on-year in 2022.

“This year will consist of two halves. Geopolitical issues, component shortages, price inflation, exchange rate volatility and disruptions due to COVID will continue to affect the smartphone market in the first half of 2022 before improving in the second half. due to COVID vaccines, central banks are raising interest rates and fewer supply disruptions at factories,” said Linda Sui, senior director at Strategy Analytics.

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