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Economic headwinds, regional uncertainty impact smartphone growth

By Adeyemi Adepetun
20 July 2022   |   2:38 am
Economic headwinds, regional uncertainty and inventory pileup, among other challenges, have impacted the growth of smartphones in the second quarter of 2022.

As shipments drop by 9% in Q2

Economic headwinds, regional uncertainty and inventory pileup, among other challenges, have impacted the growth of smartphones in the second quarter of 2022.

These challenges ensured that smartphone shipments across the globe dropped by nine per cent in the period under review.

According to preliminary data from research firm, Canalys, released yesterday, despite these challenges, Apple’s iPhone 13 remained in high demand and Samsung benefited from lower-tier models.

The data showed that shipments of the iPhone 13 helped boost Apple to a 17 per cent share compared with 14 per cent in Q2 2021, ranking it second overall in the recent quarter.

While Canalys placed Q2 2021 shipments at 316 million units, based on sell-in, Samsung took the top spot with a 21 per cent share compared with 18 per cent, largely due to shipments of its mid-tier A-series.

Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo suffered double-digit declines in shipments, leaving them with shares of 14 per cent, 10 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, compared with 17 per cent, 11 per cent and 10 per cent in Q2 2021.

Research Analyst, Canalys, Runar Bjorhovde, stated: “economic headwinds, sluggish demand and inventory” backlogs resulted in vendors reassessing their strategies for the rest of 2022.

“The oversupplied mid-range is an exposed segment for vendors to focus on adjusting new launches, as budget-constrained consumers shift their device purchases toward the lower end.”

Analyst Toby Zhu noted consumers’ disposable income was impacted “by soaring inflation this year”, but he expected vendors to accelerate promotions and special offers to “accelerate sell-through” ahead of launches during the holiday selling period.

“Falling demand is causing great concern for the entire smartphone supply chain. While component supplies and cost pressures are easing, a few concerns remain within logistics and production, such as some emerging markets’ tightening import laws and customs procedures delaying shipments.

“In the near term, vendors will look to accelerate sell-through using promotions and offers ahead of new launches during the holiday season to alleviate the channel’s liquidity pressure. But in contrast to last year’s pent-up demand, consumers’ disposable income has been affected by soaring inflation this year. Deep collaboration with channels to monitor the state of inventory and supply will be vital for vendors to identify short-term opportunities while maintaining healthy channel partnerships in the long run,” Zhu added.

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