Smartphone shipment continues to decline as the International Data Corp. (IDC) reported an 8.9% year over year in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22). Based on IDC’s data, this is the third consecutive quarter of the decline as shipments fell to 314.1 million units in the quarter, about 3.5% lower than its forecast in February.
Despite the challenging environment, vendor positioning was not altered much during 1Q22. Samsung led the vendor race with the top spot and 23.4% share, its largest share in any given quarter since the first quarter of 2018. Apple came in second with 18% share, while Chinese vendors Xiaomi (12.7%), OPPO (8.7%), and vivo (8.1%) followed in the next three positions.
“Although some decline was expected in Q1, due to the ongoing supply and logistical challenges and a difficult year-over-year comparison, things seemed to have taken a turn for the worse,” said Nabila Popal research director at IDC. “Consumer sentiment across all regions, and especially China, is broadly negative with heavy concerns around inflation and economic instability that have dampened consumer spending.”
In its media advisory, IDC said logistics and components shortages affected the decline. It didn’t help that the government imposed lockdowns in Shanghai to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Russian invasion of Ukraine also added to concerns that prompted most OEMs to adopt a more conservative growth strategy for 2022.”
The biggest drawdown on global volumes came from China and other parts of Asia Pacific, which account for nearly half of all shipments worldwide and declined 12.3% (combined) in 1Q21, the IDC said.
“It goes without saying that the world continues to face numerous challenges, whether it be geopolitical, pandemic related, or macroeconomic,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Almost everything that’s happened in recent months has been a headwind on the smartphone market and realistically many other technology segments.”
IDC saw that top smartphone brands Apple and Samsung have navigated the supply chain situation a bit better than their competitors. This resulted in reduced orders from the next set of top OEMs.
“We remain of the opinion that any diminished demand will not be lost, but rather pushed forward,” Reith said. “It’s just a matter of when that demand resumes.”