Apple and Samsung are on top of a declining smartphone market as 2023 begins

Stay-in-place strategies are seen to be popular this year


We may have written up a boatload of deals for the best Android phones out there last year, but that didn’t change the fact that those phones have risen out of reach from many would-be buyers. All of us have had to suffer this vision of a global economy with chip shortages one day and intensified inflation the next. Along for the ride with consumers are smartphone makers: while the market showed some signs of growth, global revenues saw a 3% year-over-year decline in Q3 2022. We’re now learning that the slope has steepened for the holiday season.

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Research house Canalys found global smartphone shipments dipped by 17% YoY in the fourth quarter of 2022, contributing heavily to an 11% drop in full-year shipments.

Just as manufacturers have overcome major supply-side challenges, flagging demand for mid-range and low-end phones has only quickened. The premium sector, which has shown resilience up to this point, is also showing some weakening.

In terms of market share, Apple was the top performer in the quarter with a 25% share of the pie — the highest Canalys has recorded to date — to Samsung’s 20%. However, Samsung remained the top OEM for 2022 with 22% of shipments, an improvement of two percentage points over the year before.

Xiaomi, Oppo, and vivo close out the top five manufacturers by market share both for the quarter and for the year in that order.

As for what’s ahead, Canaly’s analyst Le Xuan Chiew is forecasting smaller plays with manufacturers keen on maintaining market share.

“Though inflationary pressures will gradually ease, the effects of interest rate hikes, economic slowdowns and an increasingly struggling labor market will limit the market’s potential,” Chiew stated. “This will adversely affect saturated, mid-to-high-end-dominated markets , such as Western Europe and North America.”

On the other hand, southeast Asia may see a bigger recovery later this year as China ends its zero-COVID policies and opens up its economy.

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