More doom and gloom for smartphone manufacturers, as global smartphone shipments experience the third consecutive decline this year. Per numbers from Canalys, shipments dropped a lowly 9% last quarter, marking the worst Q3 for the category since 2014.
Apple is a rare bright spot among the numbers, with some positive growth as the rest of the top five posted declining numbers from the same time last year. Samsung remains in first place, with 22% of the overall market, while Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo round out the top five.
If you’ve followed the category with any regularity, none of this will come as any surprise, of course. Following years of explosive growth, numbers plateaued and began dropping off, due to aspects like pricing and market saturation. Things, naturally, were only accelerated by the pandemic, courtesy of lockdowns and economic struggles. Since then, supply chain shortages, inflation and the like have only served to exacerbate the situation.
“The smartphone market is highly reactive to consumer demand and vendors are adjusting quickly to the harsh business conditions,” says Canalys Analyst Amber Liu. “For most vendors, the priority is to reduce the risk of inventory building up given deteriorating demand. Vendors had significant stockpiles going into July, but sell-through gradually improved from September owing to aggressive discounting and promotions.”
For now, at least, the category shows no signs of future improvement.