It’s not a good time to be a smartphone brand, unless it’s one with a fruity name based in Cupertino. That’s what emerged from the latest report on the global smartphone market by a leading research agency. Apple was the only major brand to post growth, even as smartphone shipments continued their downward trend this year, and Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo saw their shipments fall. So what was the global smartphone market like in the third quarter of 2022? Here are the highlights from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for the period.
A record drop in the global smartphone market
According to the report, global smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2022 were 301.9 million units, compared to 334.2 million units in the same quarter last year.
This represents a year-over-year decline of 9.7 percent, which is the largest third-quarter decline in history for the global smartphone market.
According to IDC, most of the drop came from emerging markets, where “lack of demand, rising costs and inflation hit consumers with lower disposable incomes.”
Decrease for the fifth consecutive quarter
The slowdown in the global smartphone market is not an aberration. This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which smartphone shipments have declined year over year.
They were down 8.7% in the second quarter of 2022, 8.9% in the first quarter of 2022, 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021, and 6.7% in the third quarter of 2021. In fact, smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2020 were 353.6 million.
This was seen by many as a sign that the market was turning around and recovering from the initial impact of COVID, a belief that was strengthened by growth and impressive figures in the fourth quarter of 2020.
However, things are not looking so rosy now.
Everything is going well… only in Central and Eastern Europe, and things are going badly in China and developing markets
According to IDC, all regions are expected to see declines not just for the third quarter of 2022 but for the full year. The only regions that will grow are Central and Eastern Europe.
China posted a 12 percent drop, and emerging markets in Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are also expected to see significant double-digit slowdowns, although developed markets such as North America, Western Europe and Japan are not. will be recorded. as steep declines (some in the single digits).
According to the report, developed markets that sell premium devices in larger numbers are doing better than emerging markets where smartphones are sold at lower and more competitive prices. Premium phone sales are being boosted by better plans from telcos and retail channels, as well as special offers.
However, according to IDC, the global market can only grow if emerging markets experience a strong recovery. However, it is not clear when that will happen (see the final point).
The rankings remain the same: Samsung is still number 1
There has been no change in the top five brands in the global smartphone market since Huawei left the top smartphone brand building at the end of 2020.
Ironically, Huawei had even briefly been number one for a very short period in 2020 in the early days of the pandemic. The top five brands in the global smartphone market since 2021 have been: Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo. And it did not change in the third quarter of 2022 either.
These were the five brands that made up the top five and accounted for nearly 70 percent of all smartphones shipped in the quarter.
The top five players in the global smartphone market have not only stayed the same in recent quarters, but even their rankings have remained relatively unchanged.
The top two spots are generally a contest between Apple and Samsung, with Apple usually taking the last quarter of the year (when new iPhone sales are at their highest), and fourth and fifth positions are contested between Oppo and Vivo.
Xiaomi has remained fairly stable in a third place. And there was no real change in global smartphone rankings in terms of phones shipped in Q3 2022:
Four. i live and oppo
Interestingly, IDC stated that Vivo and Oppo were tied for fourth place as the difference between their shipments was 0.1% or less. Meanwhile, there’s still no sign of any other brand breaking the hegemony of this top five, despite a flurry of launches from former chart-toppers Motorola and Nokia.
Samsung is on top, but it’s slowing down
Samsung might be at the top of the global smartphone kingdom, but it hasn’t really been easy for the Korean brand. Although its global market share increased from 20.8% in Q3 2021 to 21.2% in Q3 2022, its shipments actually decreased by 7.8% from 69.5 million units in the third quarter of 2021 to 64 million units in the third quarter of 2022.
Although the 64 million units represent an increase from the 62.4 million in the second quarter of 2022, the year-over-year drop is notable.
Apple still grows a little, but that’s more than all the others
It might have been far behind Samsung in terms of overall shipments, but Apple was the only brand in the top five to post year-over-year growth. It wasn’t massive growth (a modest 1.6 percent) but it was the exception in a quarter where decline was the rule, though even growth was limited in many regions, including China.
The Cupertino giant’s iPhone 14 series became unavailable only towards the end of the third quarter of 2022, but it still recorded shipments of 51.9 million units compared to 51.1 million units in the third quarter of 2021.
The brand also saw its market share increase to 17.2% compared to 15.3% in Q3 2021 and even 15.6% in the previous quarter (Q2 2022).
Xiaomi’s share is up slightly, but growth is down
Chinese brand Xiaomi has been surprisingly consistent in the number three spot for the past few quarters and Q3 2022 is holding its place. Interestingly, although its shipments fell from 44.4 million units in Q3 2021 to 40.5 million units (a drop of 8.6%), Xiaomi’s market share actually increased from 13.3% in that quarter to 13.4%.
Xiaomi also recorded an increase in the quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments, from 39.5 million in the previous quarter.
Vivo, Oppo slow down significantly
While the top three posted single numbers of growth or lack of it, the brands at number four, Oppo and Vivo, saw much more pronounced swings in fortune. While Vivo saw its year-on-year shipments drop by 22.1% from 33.3 million in Q3 2021 to 25.9 million in Q3 2022, Oppo fell 22.3% from 33.2 million to 25.8 million.
Their market shares also fell significantly. Vivo had a 10 percent stake in the third quarter of 2021, but that was reduced to 8.6 percent in the third quarter of 2022.
Oppo had a 9.9 percent share in the third quarter of 2021, and found itself at 8.6 percent in the third quarter of 2022 as well.
Mind you, both brands had about the same market share in the previous quarter, a far cry from the double-digit shares both had enjoyed at the start of 2021.
Market recovery is in sight… but not soon
The prospects for the last quarter of 2022 and even 2023 do not look too rosy. IDC believes that while the market will recover, it will be “further driven through the year.”
The agency also expects a “more pronounced decline in shipments for 2022 and a softer recovery in 2023.” Some may hope that the new iPhones and the launch of new Xiaomi devices will make a difference in the last quarter and in the following ones, but clearly, the smartphone market has a very steep hill to climb before avoiding the depression.