According to a report from Canalys, global smartphone shipments fell 17% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Despite supply chain disruptions and challenging market conditions, the iPhone reclaimed the top spot with a 25% market share, an increase of 2% from the previous year.
Samsung followed in second place with a 20% market share. Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo rounded out the top five vendors, with market shares of 11%, 10%, and 8% respectively.
Canalys Research Analyst Le Xuan Chiew stated that vendors will approach 2023 cautiously, focusing on profitability and protecting market share in light of the challenging market conditions.
Factors such as inflation, interest rate hikes, economic slowdowns, and a struggling labor market are expected to limit growth potential for the smartphone market. However, strong consumer demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max helped Apple reclaim the top spot, and the company has now caught up with demand. Average lead times for delivery have fallen to around four days across all four iPhone 14 models, and the devices are available for pickup in US Apple Stores.
The supply chain disruptions that affected the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models were a major contributor to the decline in global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022. Many analysts had to adjust their forecasts due to these disruptions, but with Apple now caught up with demand, it is expected that the market will begin to recover.
In addition to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, other iPhone models also performed well in the fourth quarter of 2022, with average lead times for delivery falling to around four days. This indicates that there is still strong consumer demand for smartphones, despite the challenging market conditions.
For vendors, building strong partnerships with the channel will be important for protecting market share, as difficult market conditions for both channel partners and vendors can easily lead to strenuous negotiations. Canalys forecasts flat to marginal growth for the smartphone market in 2023, but with Apple’s market share increasing and the company catching up with demand, it is likely that the market will start to recover.
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