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Global Smartphone Market Drops 12% In Q1 2023

Key Highlights

  • The global smartphone market declined by 12% in Q1 2023 due to macroeconomic conditions and inflation, with vendors producing more smartphones than consumers are buying.
  • Samsung claimed the No. 1 spot with a 22% market share, while Apple fell to second place with a 21% market share, and budget 5G smartphones with premium features could help attract new users in emerging markets.

According to Canalys, the global smartphone market has declined for the past five quarters due to various factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global chip shortage, and the war in Ukraine. In the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), the market saw a 12% drop as macroeconomic conditions and inflation weighed on demand. However, some signs of moderation are declining, with certain smartphone products and price bands experiencing increased demand.

Market Share Stats

  1. Despite the challenging market conditions, Samsung achieved a quarter-on-quarter recovery and claimed the No. 1 spot with a 22% market share. 
  2. Apple fell to second place with a 21% market share due to reduced unit shipments and decreased consumer spending. 
  3. Xiaomi held onto its third-place position in the global smartphone market with an 11% market share, thanks to new product launches in Q1 2023. 

Meanwhile, Oppo and Vivo are among the fastest-growing smartphone brands globally. They are gaining market share in China and other emerging markets, accounting for 10% and 8% of the market share, respectively.

Vendors Struggle As Consumers Hold Onto Older Devices In A Challenging Market

One trend worth noting is that vendors produce more smartphones than consumers buy, with many users holding onto their older devices for longer periods. 

The total number of smartphones shipped in 2022 was 1.21 billion, the lowest annual shipment total since 2013. While the transition to 5G was the last industry-wide push that resulted in mass adoption, foldable phones have failed to gain popularity as an alternative form factor.

Budget 5G Smartphones Offer Growth Opportunities In Emerging Markets

Looking ahead, Samsung and Apple are likely to continue pushing upward in premium devices, potentially creating even more expensive “pro” handsets to fully saturate the high end of the market. However, recovery in the smartphone market may lie in the midrange and entry-level geared towards emerging markets. 

Budget 5G smartphones that incorporate premium features such as eSIM compatibility and improved camera technology, bundled with wearables and Bluetooth headsets, could help attract new users.

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