Global smartphone sales decline for the ninth consecutive quarter: Report

Global smartphone sales dropped for the ninth quarter in a row amid sluggish consumer demand, said Counterpoint Research in its latest research.

The shipments were down by 8% in the third quarter of 2023. However, the market did manage to eke out a 2% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth.

As per the research, Samsung maintained its position of strength in the global market, accounting for a significant 20% share of total sales in Q3. “The new generation of foldables received a mixed response, with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 outselling its counterpart by nearly twice as much. However, Samsung’s A-series models remained market leaders in mid-price bands,” Counterpoint Research said.

Apple secured the second position with a 16% market share, despite the limited availability of the iPhone 15 series, which has received a positive response from consumers.

Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo rounded off the top five smartphone manufacturers, all of which experienced YoY declines. In Q3, these companies strategically focused on consolidating their presence in key markets such as China and India while slowing down expansionary efforts in overseas markets.

Notably, HONOR, Huawei, and Transsion group were among the exceptions to the trend, managing to gain market share and record YoY growth in Q3. Huawei’s growth, as per Counterpoint, was attributed to the launch of the Mate 60 series in China, while HONOR’s performance was bolstered by strong overseas sales. Transsion brands expanded their presence and benefited from a recovery in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market.

The MEA region was the sole standout, with YoY growth in Q3, thanks to improvements in macroeconomic indicators. Meanwhile, most developed markets, including North America, Western Europe, and South Korea, recorded substantial declines in sales. However, it is expected that these developed markets will see a resurgence in the fourth quarter, primarily due to the delayed impact of the iPhone launch.

“Following a strong September, we expect the momentum to continue till the year-end, beginning with the full impact of the iPhone 15 series along with the arrival of the festive season in India, followed by the 11.11 sales event in China and ending with the Christmas and end-of-year promotions across regions. In Q4 2023, we expect the market to halt its series of YoY declines,” Counterpoint added.

Nonetheless, it is projected that the overall market will experience a decline for the entire year of 2023, reaching its lowest level in the past decade. This shift is largely attributed to changing device replacement patterns, particularly in developed markets. Notably, the recovery of emerging markets before the global market, along with the growth of brands outside the top five, underscores the shifting dynamics and opportunities in the global smartphone industry.

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