According to the most recent report from the analysis firm Canalys, the global smartphone industry had a rather disappointing third quarter. The company reports that weak demand for handsets led to a 9% year-over-year decline in smartphone shipments during the third quarter. Apple was the only company to report year-over-year growth during the quarter, thanks to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series.
Apple is the only manufacturer among the top five to report shipment growth during the third quarter
Despite delivering 8% fewer smartphones during the quarter, Samsung maintained its leadership position by shipping 64,1 million connected handsets between July and September. The company’s market share remained unchanged at 22%. Apple shipped 53 million iPhone models during the quarter, an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year. Apple currently holds 18% of the worldwide smartphone market.
Similar to Samsung, Xiaomi experienced a decline of 8% in shipments during the third quarter. The company shipped 40,5 million devices, representing 14% of the global smartphone market. Oppo ranked fourth, but had the largest annual decline in shipments at 22%. Following the decline, Oppo shipped 28,5 million phones during the quarter, giving it a ten percent market share.
|Vendor||Q3 2022 shipments (million)||Q3 2022 market share||Q3 2021 shipments (million)||Q3 2021 market share||Annual growth|
|Note: percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding
Source: Canalys Smartphone Analysis (sell-in shipments), October 2022
Samsung was still the top shipper of smartphones worldwide during Q3
Vivo rounded out the top five. The manufacturer shipped 20% fewer phones in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, totaling 27.4 million units. This leaves Vivo with a 9 percent market share. Overall, the industry shipped 297.8 million smartphones during the third quarter, a decline of 9.0% compared to the 325.6 million smartphones shipped during the same period in 2021.
Runar Bjrhovde, a research analyst at Canalys, stated that the premium segment of the market was the only one growing. He continues, “Apple’s Q3 market share was its highest ever, driven by both the iPhone 13 and newly released iPhone 14 series. Particularly, the popularity of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will contribute to an increase in Apple’s ASP (Average Selling Price) and stable revenue.”
Turning to Android, Bjørhovde says, “On the Android side, Samsung revamped its foldable portfolio and significantly increased its marketing efforts to generate demand for its new flagships. Demand in the mid-to-low price range has decreased, making it difficult for vendors to compete in this segment. Xiaomi was able to leverage its global scale to offset declines in its domestic market with a refreshed product line. OPPO and Vivo are still significantly impacted by the decline in the China market, but both companies are exhibiting modest signs of recovery.”
The current quarter’s outlook is the darkest in a decade
Toby Zhu, an analyst at Canalys, is concerned that “global disruptions” will make the current fourth quarter the “dreariest” in more than a decade. With the upcoming winter in mind, manufacturers are reducing their production goals, and Zhu notes that the brands that survive the quarter in good shape will be in a strong position for the long term.
Sanyam Chaurasia, a Canalys analyst, examined the global aspects of the smartphone industry. The analyst wrote, “Europe and Asia-Pacific outperformed the rest of the world in the third quarter.” “Europe avoided a significant decline thanks to a surge in exports to Russia. In this instance, Chinese suppliers capitalized on short-term opportunities to replenish the channel in a market that had been undersupplied in prior quarters.”
Chaurasia went on to say that “APAC (Asia-Pacific) markets varied greatly, but sequentially increasing demand in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines helped to stabilize the region’s performance. In contrast to a much more optimistic outlook in Q3 of the previous year, markets dominated by carriers, such as North America and Latin America, expressed increasing caution regarding inventory management prior to the holiday season.”
Apple appears to be the only top-five smartphone manufacturer that can still increase shipments despite global economic and political factors that are causing a decline in smartphone shipments. Next year, however, that could all change thanks to Apple. A redesign of the iPhone 15, the introduction of the iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the Pro Max series, and the use of USB-C instead of the proprietary Lightning port could be a significant boost for Apple and the industry as a whole.