Global smartphone shipments fell 18.3% year on year to 300.3 million units in the Christmas quarter of 2022, the worst drop in a single quarter.
According to an IDC report, the Q4 2022 decrease did contribute to the year’s overall decline of 11.3%.
The number of units shipped in 2022 (1.21 billion) was the lowest yearly total since 2013, as a result of considerably reduced consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainty.
With a significant adverse risk to the forecast, this challenging end to the year seriously jeopardizes the 2.8% recovery anticipated for 2023, the report mentioned.
“We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower than the previous quarter. However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC.
For the entire year, Chinese vendors experienced significant losses.
During the quarter, heavy sales and promotions helped deplete existing inventories rather than stimulate shipment growth.
“Vendors are increasingly cautious in their shipments and planning while realigning their focus on profitability. Even Apple, which thus far was seemingly immune, suffered a setback in its supply chain with unforeseen lockdowns at its key factories in China,” Popal added.
In light of 2022’s overall decline of more than 11%, Anthony Scarsella, another research director with IDC, predicts that 2023 will be a cautious year as suppliers reevaluate their devices portfolios and channels reconsider taking on extra inventory.
However, he continued, “consumers may find even more generous trade-in offers and promotions continuing well into 2023 as the market will think of new methods to drive upgrades and sell more devices, specifically high-end models.”