2022 was a, for lack of a better word, crappy year for smartphone shipments around the globe. According to the IDC, worldwide smartphone shipments declined 18.3% year-over-year, down to 300.3 million units from 367.6 million units. This is despite the fact that 2022 saw a total of 1.21 billion of devices being moved around.
“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,” Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, said about the decline in smartphone shipments. “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. What this holiday quarter tells us is that rising inflation and growing macro concerns continue to stunt consumer spending even more than expected and push out any possible recovery to the very end of 2023.”
In light of weakening smartphone sales, vendors have chosen to remain cautious with new shipments. To mitigate costs, the IDC believes that several vendors will use sales and promotions to slowly get rid of existing inventory.
Despite sluggish smartphone sales, the IDC’s charts show that Apple still maintains its position as top dog company, having sold 72.3 million units of its iPhones globally. The brand taking second place is none other than Samsung with 58.2 million units of its smartphones sold last year, followed by Xiaomi at 33.2 million units, Oppo with 25.3 million units, and vivo with 22.9 million units. Unironically, the one brand that didn’t even make it into the top five list is Huawei, clearly for very obvious reasons.
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