Smartphone sales fall 6.8% due to chip shortage

In a nutshell: Global smartphone sales fell 6.8% in the third quarter of the year, but the slump was not due to falling demand: the chip crisis is to blame. However, it was a positive third quarter for Apple, which overtook Xiaomi to take the second largest market share after the leader Samsung.

Data taken from the last market analytics report… The research company notes that the depressingly familiar issue of chip shortages has plunged smartphone sales to end-users by 6.8% year over year.

“Despite strong consumer demand, smartphone sales declined due to product delays, longer delivery schedules and insufficient channel inventory,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Supply constraints have affected the production schedule for basic and service smartphones far more than premium smartphones.”

Gartner defines RF and power management ICs as power deficiency components that delay production and impact sales. However, there was good news for the phone companies, as the popularity of premium phones grew during the quarter despite an overall decline in sales.

In the top five, Samsung maintained its number one position with 69 million in sales, despite its market share falling 1.9% YoY. The Korean firm was helped by strong demand for its Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 devices.

Apple (48 million) is slightly ahead of Xiaomi (44 million). Gartner writes that updates to the iPhone 13 lineup, such as the bionic sensor and the A15 camera, combined with Apple Trade-in programs have helped drive sales. Meanwhile, Xiaomi continued its expansion in Europe and the Middle East.

Fourth place Vivo showed the largest annual growth – 20.9% to 36 million. The third Chinese manufacturer on the OPPO list came in fifth with 33 million in sales.

While last year’s restrictions boosted smartphone sales, much of the decline in the third quarter of 2021 can be attributed to the chip crisis, which affects virtually all electronic consumer products (and vehicles), from increasingly expensive graphics cards to consoles. It has even led some manufacturers to sell gaming PCs without dedicated GPUs.

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