The third quarter of 2023 saw global smartphone sell-through volumes drop by 8 per cent year-on-year (YoY)
The global smartphone market is expected to decline for the full year of 2023, plummeting to its lowest level in the past decade. According to a latest report, the primary reason behind this drastic downturn is a notable shift in device replacement patterns, especially within developed markets.
The Counterpoint Research report revealed that the third quarter of 2023 saw global smartphone sell-through volumes drop by eight per cent year-on-year (YoY). This marks the ninth consecutive quarter of declining sales, primarily attributed to a sluggish recovery in consumer demand. However, a two per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth, especially in September, hints at a potential turnaround for the beleaguered market.
It noted that while the decline is a glaring reality, there is a glimmer of hope as emerging markets and brands outside the top five continue to shake up the industry.
Samsung Dominates Smartphone Market
Samsung maintained its lead in the global smartphone market, capturing a significant 20 per cent market share in Q3. Their new foldable phones, including the Flip 5, managed to outperform their competitors, while the A-series models held their ground in the mid-price segments.
Apple, despite challenges with the limited availability of its iPhone 15 series, secured the second position with a 16 per cent market share, underlining the enduring appeal of the iPhone brand.
Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo rounded off the top five, although all three faced YoY declines. Their strategic focus shifted towards bolstering their presence in vital markets like China and India, while scaling back their overseas expansion efforts.
Meanwhile, HONOR, Huawei and Transsion Group bucked the trend by gaining market share and experiencing YoY growth in Q3. Huawei’s success was primarily attributed to the launch of the Mate 60 series in China, while HONOR’s overseas performance propelled its expansion. Transsion brands capitalised on the recovery in the Middle East and Africa market.
Notably, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region stood as a bright spot in Q3, being the only region to record YoY growth. This was thanks to improvements in macroeconomic indicators. In contrast, most developed markets, including North America, Western Europe and South Korea, recorded substantial declines.
As the calendar flips to the fourth quarter of 2023, a sense of optimism looms. A strong September is expected to carry through year-end, driven by the full impact of the iPhone 15 series, festive seasons in India, the 11.11 sales event in China and global year-end promotions. The report foresees a pause in YoY declines in Q4.