Worldwide smartphone shipments dropped 11% the first quarter from a year earlier, led by Chinese brands Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, according to a report today by market research firm Canalys. Shipments fell to 311 million units from 347 million in the first three months of 2021.
“The Chinese market caused nearly half the worldwide decline, mainly due to seasonal weakness,” said analyst Toby Zhu in a statement.
Samsung ranked No. 1, shipping 73.7 million units, down 4% year-on-year. Apple enjoyed high demand for the iPhone 13 series with a new iPhone SE, gaining 8% to 56.5 million units, Canalys said. It was the only member of the top five suppliers to have higher sales — Xiaomi (-20%), OPPO (-27%) and vivo (-30%), ranking third through fifth, all suffered declines in the first quarter.
Lockdowns in China are weighing on demand in China this quarter. “A strict pandemic control policy has resulted in lockdowns in major cities in China, casting a shadow over the consumer market in the short term,” Zhu said. “Moreover, disruptions in component production and logistics will affect most vendors’ (second quarter) shipments, both in mainland China and worldwide.”
“North America was the only region to grow this quarter, showing the strength of the consumer market,” said analyst Runar Bjørhovde. “While its solid performance was particularly driven by demand for Apple’s iPhone 13 series and Samsung’s newly launched Galaxy S22 family, vendors such as Lenovo, TCL and Google continued to make an impressive effort, taking over carrier slots that previously belonged to LG.”
“Inflation, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, COVID-19 restrictions and supply disruptions will affect all levels of operation and planning,” Bjorhovde said. “Though short-term projections are filled with regional uncertainties, component shortages are starting to ease, which relieves some cost pressure. Leading vendors will take this downtime to strengthen relationships with supply chain partners and their core product and channel capabilities to capture rebounding demand in the second half of 2022.”
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