Ever since the iPhone 4’s launch in 2010, Global smartphone sales have grown at staggering pace year on year. But since 2015, that pace has slowed down significantly, and you don’t really see a return of the double-digit growth rate for the industry. And what’s worse, we have even seen declines in shipments after the pandemic. A recent industry intelligence report by Canalys stated that “the global smartphone market recorded its third consecutive decline this year, dropping 9% year-on-year, marking the worst Q3 since 2014.”
But even in tough market conditions, there are a few winners. And Apple would feature on top of that list, being the only top five vendor to record positive growth, and now with an 18 percent market share. Samsung faced a lot of competition from Apple, and even lost market share to its rival in the premium category.
But overall, the Korean giant was still able to hold the top spot in terms of global shipments, with 22 percent of the market share. Chinese manufacturers like Oppo and Vivo only saw a modest drop in market share from last year, except Xiaomi which was able to retain its 14 percent share.
“The smartphone market is highly reactive to consumer demand and vendors are adjusting quickly to the harsh business conditions,” said Canalys Analyst Amber Liu. “For most vendors, the priority is to reduce the risk of inventory building up given deteriorating demand. Vendors had significant stockpiles going into July, but sell-through gradually improved from September owing to aggressive discounting and promotions.
And given the global economic headwinds things don’t look all that great in the upcoming quarters too. Companies like Apple are already ordering production cuts across their devices, with even the new iPhone 14 Plus coming under the chopping block. Some like Samsung are sitting on huge unsold inventories. and according to a report from South Korea, the smartphone company has a whopping 50 million units stuck with distributors.