While still in the red, the rate of decline in smartphone shipments is slowing down, according to the latest figures from the International Data Corp. (IDC). Worldwide smartphone shipments declined by 7.8% year over year to 265.3 million units in the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23).
IDC saw soft demand, inflation, macroeconomic uncertainties, and excess inventory as the causes of decline in smartphone shipments for eight consecutive quarters.
“As inventory levels normalize, we are finally hearing optimism from key OEMs and supply chains and expect the market to return to growth by the end of the year and into 2024,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “IDC expects a shift in the vendor rankings at the bottom of the stack, as we already see happening this quarter with Transsion entering the Top 5 for the first time.”
The decline in China for the second quarter of 2023 stood at 2.1% year-over-year, an improvement after five quarters of a significant double-digit decline.
Drop in China sales
“While this is better than past quarters, consumer sentiment and spending remain low,” IDC said.
A drop in smartphone sales was also felt during the country’s much-awaited 618 online shopping festival in June. Sales dropped to 6.5% year-over-year. The other large regions, including Asia Pacific (excluding Japan and China), the United States, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), also saw shipments decline by 5.9%, 19.1%, and 3.1% respectively in 2Q23.
“Although the first half of the year has presented many challenges to the market, we believe that there remains plenty of opportunity awaiting in the second half of the year,” said Anthony Scarsella, research director, Mobile Phones at IDC. “The foldable market remains an exciting product to consumers, and the arrival of new models and new vendors joining the race will hopefully translate to wider adoption and lower prices. Moreover, we expect the foldable market to grow nearly 50% in 2023 while the total market remains down.”