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Global smartphone market decline continues; iPhone the exception


Year-on-year shipments in the global smartphone market fell by 13% in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest market intelligence data. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.

Apple was the only major brand to buck the trend, growing its iPhone shipments by 3% while its competitors saw declines ranging from 8% to 22%…

Canalys chose to release its data in two chunks this time, releasing market share data first, and then shipment numbers.

The market share data was no surprise, with Apple falling back after the launch and holiday quarter sales of its new iPhone lineup.

Samsung was the only leading vendor to achieve a quarter-on-quarter recovery and struggled back to number one with a 22% market share. Meanwhile, Apple dropped to second place with a 21% market share, narrowing the gap between itself and Samsung, driven by solid demand for its iPhone 14 Pro series in Q1 2023.

The quarterly bump and fallback for Apple is, of course, business as usual. The holiday quarter encompasses the launch of the new iPhones, creating a big boost in sales, with a significant fall-off in the following quarter. The effects this year were smaller than usual, as the Cupertino company was still catching up on iPhone orders in Q1 after its supply constraints in Q4.

Global smartphone market

Canalys has now shared shipment numbers, starting with mixed news on the overall global smartphone market. While the year-long decline continued into a fifth quarter, the firm says that there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

Canalys’ latest research shows that global smartphone shipments fell by 13% to 269.8 million units in Q1 2023. The demand decline has started to flatten, although the contrast between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023 is still stark […]

Shipments will stabilize around the levels from 2022 as we move into the middle of 2023. […] Canalys expects the smartphone market to gain momentum in the second half of the year as channel inventories reach healthier levels.

Apple the only brand to grow

Apple saw a 3% year-on-year increase in iPhone shipments, making it the only major brand to increase shipments in the first quarter of the year. Some of this was likely due to continuing to fulfill orders placed during the holiday quarter, as the company recovered from its COVID-19-related supply problems.

  • Apple +3%
  • Samsung –18%
  • Xiaomi -22%
  • Oppo –8%
  • Vivo –17%

Overall, Samsung held its lead, with 60.3M shipments in the quarter, but Apple was close behind with 58.0M.

Photo: Apple

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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