Smartphone makers should be a worried lot as global shipments decline to a decade low

Smartphone makers should be a worried lot as global shipments decline to a decade low
Samsung Galaxy S23 PlusSourabh Jain
  • With a ninth consecutive quarter decline, Q3 shipments have reached a decade low.
  • Analysts expect shipments to bounce back in Q4 amid the festive season.
  • Apple’s Q3 2023 shipments declined 9% year-on-year; Samsung continues to lead.
The global smartphone shipments declined by 8% in Q3 2023, a ninth consecutive quarter decline to reach the lowest Q3 levels in a decade. The decline has been attributed to subdued demand for brands like Samsung and Apple.

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, Q3 2023 has reported an 8% decline year-on-year. At the same time, a 2% quarter-on-quarter growth is being seen as a positive sign for the upcoming quarter.

“Following a strong September, we expect the momentum to continue till the year-end, beginning with the full impact of the iPhone 15 series along with the arrival of the festive season in India, followed by the 11.11 sales event in China and ending with the Christmas and end-of-year promotions across regions,” said Counterpoint Research in its report.

Samsung declines but continues to lead

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South Korean smartphone maker Samsung reported a 13% decline in market share in Q3 2023, with its overall market share declining to 20%, down from 21% in Q3 2022.

According to Counterpoint, while the company’s Galaxy A series continued to perform well, its foldables, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 received a mixed response.

Apple declines amid iPhone 15 availability issues


Apple’s Q3 2023 shipments declined 9% year-on-year to reach 16%, down from 17% in Q3 2022. The company’s recently launched flagship iPhone 15’s delayed deliveries have been claimed to be one of the reasons for the decline.

Chinese companies report a decline as well

Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, which occupy the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively, also reported a decline in sales.

Xiaomi’s sales declined by 15%, with the company occupying a 12% market share in Q3 2023, down from 13% last year.

Oppo and Vivo market share declined by 15% and 14% respectively, with both companies commanding 8% market share, down from 9% in Q3 2022.

2023 shipments to reach a decade low

Despite an expected increase in shipments in Q4, the overall 2023 smartphone shipments are expected to reach a decade low. This has been attributed to a shift in device replacement patterns, particularly in developed markets.]

A change in device replacement patterns could be due to increased support for smartphones from companies like Apple, Samsung and Google. Google’s recently launched Pixel 8 series gets seven years of Android and security updates.


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