Global smartphone shipments fell 14.6 percent to 268.6 million units in the first quarter year-on-year. The figures were reported by analyst firm IDC, which blamed “heated demand, inflation, and macro uncertainty”. It highlighted that the decline was higher than the 12.7 percent previously forecast.
While this figure is bad news for phone manufacturers, IDC reports that inventory is in much better shape than it was six months ago due to lower shipments and heavy promotional activity to help move stock. . Memory is another item that is stuck in inventory, and according to Gartner, this too will begin to clear by 2024.
“The industry is going through a period of inventory clearing and adjustment. Market players are wary of channeling more stock to take temporary gains in shares. Unhealthy scenario as 2022.” said Nabila Popal, Research Director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker Team. “Although we are optimistic about recovery by the end of the year, we still have 3-6 months ahead.”
Apparently, most regions around the world saw a double-digit decline in smartphone shipments. IDC said consumers put things like travel and entertainment at the top of their priority list before purchasing a phone. Interestingly, developed markets saw a smaller decline of about 10 percent, while emerging markets saw a decline of up to 20 percent.
Among all smartphone makers, Xiaomi saw the biggest drop in shipments (-23.5%), largely due to its popularity in developing countries. The most resilient brand was Apple (-2.3%), perhaps due to its more affluent customer base that can continue to upgrade its iPhones despite a life crisis.