Smartphone market declines for fifth consecutive quarter in Q1 2023

This marks the fifth quarter of decline in a row.

The smartphone market is still in a downward spiral, according to the latest report from Canalys. The research firm revealed that global smartphone shipments dropped by 12 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, marking the fifth quarter of decline in a row.

According to the research firm, the main reasons for the poor performance were the challenging macroeconomic environment, the weak consumer appetite, and the inventory correction across the supply chain.

Samsung bounced back to the top of the market with a 22 percent share, as it saw a quarter-on-quarter improvement and enjoyed strong sales of its Galaxy S23 series. Apple fell to the second spot with a 21 percent share, but closed the gap with Samsung, thanks to solid demand for its iPhone 14 Pro series. Xiaomi stayed in the third spot with an 11 percent share, followed by OPPO and vivo with 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said that the smartphone market’s decline in Q1 2023 was expected by the industry. “The local macroeconomic conditions continued to hamper vendors’ investments and operations in several markets. Despite price cuts and heavy promotions from vendors, consumer demand remained low, especially in the low-end segment due to high inflation affecting consumer confidence and spending,” he said.

VendorQ1 2022 market shareQ1 2023 market share
Samsung 24%22%

However, Canalys also pointed out some signs of improvement in the decline, as there were increases in demand for certain smartphone products and price bands. The firm forecasted that the inventory of the smartphone industry can reach a relatively healthy level by the end of Q2 2023, and that the sell-in volume of the global smartphone market can improve due to the reduction in inventories in the next few quarters.

Canalys analyst Toby Zhu said that vendors have focused more on innovations and raising production and channel efficiencies after a round of fluctuations. “5G popularization and foldable phones are also becoming the new driving forces in the industry,” he added.

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