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According to a recent press release from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the smartphone market, including Apple, experienced its largest decline in a single quarter following the holiday season of 2022.
The IDC estimates that Apple shipped 72.3 million iPhones in the December quarter of 2022, compared to 85 million from the previous year, a 14.9% decline.
Apple is not the only smartphone manufacturer to suffer from this trend, with Xiaomi experiencing the worst year-over-year sales drop at 26.3%. In total, the IDC reports that the December quarter decline amounts to an 18.3% drop in global smartphone sales compared to the previous year, the largest decline in a single quarter to date.
|Company||4Q22 Shipment Volumes*||4Q22 Market Share*||4Q21 Shipment Volumes||4Q21 Market Share||Year-Over-Year Change*|
The IDC attributes the decline to a combination of weakened demand and high inventory, causing vendors to drastically cut back on shipments. Additionally, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 restrictions and conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, as well as the riots that occurred in Zhengzhou’s Foxconn facility in November, likely contributed to the lack of sales during the holiday period.
Another factor to consider is the tendency for consumers to hold onto their aging smartphones for longer periods of time, thanks to continued software support and hardware improvements over previous generations. This means that people are less inclined to purchase the latest and greatest smartphones every year.
While this decline in sales may come as a surprise to some, analysts and corporations likely saw it coming due to the current economic and political climate. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how the smartphone market will recover in the coming quarters.