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Phone shipments tumble 9 percent in first quarter

IDC reports worldwide phone shipments tumbled 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with 2021.

Rival analyst company Counterpoint Research puts the 2022 q1 fall at seven percent to 328 million units.

IDC says the total fell to 314 million units. This is behind IDC’s earlier forecast.

Nabila Popal, a research director at IDC attributes the fall to negative consumer sentiment. The mood is down everywhere thanks to worries about inflation and economic instability.

Invasion concerns, supply chain worries

Then there are concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and further supply chain problems thanks to the lockdown in Shanghai. The consumer mood is worse in China.

Counterpoint Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia mentions similar factors behind the fall.

The turmoil has done little to change the relative position of the main players.

Both analyst firms note that Samsung remains the phone market leader and put the top four brands in the same order.

Samsung remains market leader

IDC says Samsung has 23.4 percent share of shipments. That is down a fraction on last year. In IDC’s book Apple is in second with an 18 percent market share, its share is up by a larger, yet still small fraction.

Xiaomi and Oppo both took a hit but remain in third and fourth place.

Walia says Samsung overcame supply chain problems and a late flagship launch. Samsung and Apple were the only two companies with shipments close to pre-pandemic levels.

The next issue of concern is that the Ukraine war could lead to a drop in the availability of raw materials needed to make modern phones.


Earlier reports on phone shipments:

Phone shipments climbed in 2021

Published 01/02/22

Worldwide phone shipments were up 5.7 percent in 2021. A total of 1.35 billion phones were shipped.

IDC reports the full year growth came despite shipments falling in the second half of the year. The research company says year-on-year sales were down 4.5 percent in the second half of 2021 when compared to 2020.

Samsung remains the top phone brand. It shipped 272 million units in 2021. That’s up from 256 million a year earlier. Samsung has a 20 percent market share. Its shipments grew 6 percent in 2021 which was the worst growth figure of the top five phone makers.

Counterpoint Research offered similar numbers. It counted 271 million phone shipments for Samsung during the year and says the market grew 4 percent in the year to 1.39 billion units.

Apple surge in China

Apple is in second place. Its share moved up from 15.9 percent in 2020 to 17.4 percent in 2021. The company shipped a total of 236 million iPhones in 2021. Apple saw year on year growth of 15.9 percent.

This was an all time record for Apple.

Counterpoint says Apple grew 18 percent to 237.9 million units during 2021: “due to strong performance by the iPhone 12 series”.

IDC says part of the reason for Apple’s strong year was a 40 percent surge in shipments to Chinese customers. It also says Apple showed supply chain strength at a time other companies ran into problems with component shortages.

Supply chain woes

Research director Nabila Popal says; “The fact that 2021 would have come in drastically higher if it were not for the supply constraints adds even more positivity to the healthy 5.7 percent growth we saw for 2021”.

Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo make up the remainder of the top five phone companies. Third place Xiaomi showed the strongest year-on-year growth with shipments up almost 30 percent.

Beyond the top five phone brands it was another story. The rest of the market saw shipments drop 12.5 percent during 2021.

Smartphone Shipments Declined in the Fourth Quarter But 2021 Was Still a Growth Year with a 5.7% Increase in Shipments, According to IDC.

Counterpoint Research: Global Annual Smartphone Market Grew for the First Time Since 2017; Record Annual Shipments for Apple.

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