Global smartphone shipments fell 11% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, according to reports. This marks the third straight quarter of consecutive annual declines in smartphone volumes, amid component shortages that are affecting supply in regions around the world. However, despite lower shipments, Samsung continued to lead the market, followed by Apple and Xiaomi. The South Korean giant even managed to achieve its highest global smartphone market share in five years during the last quarter.
According to strategy consultancy Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments fell 11% year-on-year to 314 million units in the first quarter. Ongoing challenges, including supply constraints, are believed to be the reason for the impact on smartphone supply.
“Meanwhile, unfavorable economic conditions, geopolitical issues, as well as disruptions related to COVID-19 (China’s continued lockdown, etc.) continued to weaken consumer demand for smartphones and other non-essential products. said Linda Sui, senior director at Strategy Analytics, in a prepared statement.
Similar to Strategy Analytics, analyst firm Counterpoint reported that the global smartphone market fell 7% year-over-year, with total shipments of 328 million units in the first quarter. Counterpoint analysts are considering the same reasons for the decline that have been noted by Strategy Analytics researchers.
Counterpoint also said the global smartphone market saw a seasonal decline of 12% QoQ in the first quarter. The resurgence of COVID at the beginning of the quarter and the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia would be among the main reasons for the decline.
The report published by Strategy Analytics shows that Samsung continued to dominate the market, although its shipments fell 2.7% year-on-year to 74.5 million in the third quarter. The company grabbed a 23.8% share, marking its best first-quarter performance in terms of market share since 2017.
The Counterpoint report also shows that Samsung is the market leader, although shipments fell 3% year-on-year to 74 million units in the first quarter. The company said Samsung was one of only two top-five smartphone brands to come close to its pre-pandemic shipments in the first quarter.
The reason for Samsung’s success is believed to be the well-received customer response for the Galaxy S22 models. Counterpoint said the new flagships helped the company generate 7% quarter-over-quarter shipment growth.
After Samsung, Apple maintained its second position in the global smartphone market in the first quarter, with an 18.2% market share, reports Strategy Analytics. The company shipped 57 million iPhone units during the quarter and managed to score 1% year-over-year growth.
Strategy Analytics also said Apple captured the highest first-quarter market share since 2013.
Counterpoint shows Apple’s first-quarter shipments were flat compared to the same quarter last year at 59 million units. The company faced a 1% year-over-year decline, according to the company. However, strong demand for the iPhone 13 series and the launch of its 5G-enabled iPhone SE (2022) helped Apple grow its market share to 18% last quarter from 17% in the first quarter of 2021.
Apple’s quarterly shipments also fell 28%, mostly due to seasonality, according to Counterpoint.
Unlike Samsung and Apple which did not suffer much impact from the overall decline, Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo (including both Oppo and OnePlus) and Vivo saw significant success, mainly due to performance. mediocre in their home market.
According to Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi shipped 39 million units of smartphones in the first quarter, capturing a 12% share in the global market. However, the company’s market share fell 2% from 14% a year ago.
“Xiaomi suffered from geopolitical uncertainties in Europe. The Chinese and Indian markets also delivered a mixed bag for the Chinese brand,” said Yiwen Wu, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The Counterpoint report also shows that Xiaomi’s global smartphone shipments fell 20% year-on-year to 39 million units in the first quarter. The company also shows a 2% decline in company share, compared to 14% in the same quarter last year.
Counterpoint believes that Xiaomi’s decline in market performance was caused by the relatively poor performance of the Redmi 9A and Redmi Note 10S smartphones, as well as chip shortages. The latter would harm the Beijing-based company “more severely than other vendors” in the market.
After Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo also faced lower shipments. Strategy Analytics shows that Oppo (including OnePlus) captured 10% of the global market, while Vivo held 8% in Q1.
Counterpoint’s report says Oppo’s shipments fell 19% YoY to 31 million units last quarter, while Vivo recorded a 19% YoY drop to 28.6 million units .
Alongside Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, Counterpoint said Honor has become a strong competitor from China. The company that spun off from Huawei saw 148% year-on-year growth to 16 million units in the first quarter. It also saw 7% quarter-on-quarter growth.
Honor’s market share rose to 5% in the quarter, from 4% last quarter and 2% in the same quarter last year, according to Counterpoint.
Realme also managed to increase shipments by 13% year-on-year to 14.5 million units in the first quarter. The company, which is owned by BBK Electronics which also owns Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus, saw massive expansion into the overseas market during the quarter, with shipments growing 163% year-over-year from specifically from Europe. However, Realme’s global shipments fell 30% quarter over quarter.
Realme also emerged as the only brand among India’s top five players to see 40% annual growth in the first quarter, according to the Counterpoint report.
Transsion Holdings, which owns the Infinix, Tecno and Itel brands, also continued to grow in the market, with annual growth of 23%. This was mainly driven by Infinix, which was up 76% year-on-year and 4% quarter-on-quarter, with shipments increasing in India as well as the rest of Asia- Pacific, Middle East and Africa, according to Counterpoint.
Tecno’s shipments were also up 28% year-on-year, although Itel posted a 3% decline, the company said.
According to a forecast by Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments would contract by up to 2% year-over-year in 2022.
“This year will be a tale of two halves. Geopolitical issues, component shortages, price inflation, exchange rate volatility and COVID-related disruptions will continue to weigh on the smartphone market during the first half of 2022, before the situation improves in the second half thanks to COVID vaccines, interest rate hikes by central banks and fewer supply disruptions at factories,” said Linda Sui. , Principal at Strategy Analytics.