Global smartphone shipments reportedly drop by 9%, a new study reveals

Writing with the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
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What you need to know

  • Smartphones seem to have seen less demand for the second quarter of this year.
  • There has been a significant 9% drop in terms of smartphone shipments.
  • However, Samsung took first place in its mobile shipments, followed by Apple.

This year, smartphones, especially in the second quarter, reportedly saw less demand than in the first quarter. A new report from Canalys reveals that the total number of shipments dropped by 9% year-over-year in Q2 2022.

The report suggests that there was less demand due to the economic downturn and the unpredictability of the region. In comparison, about 300 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter — thanks to some of the best smartphones released like the Galaxy S22 series and the OnePlus 10 Pro, for instance. However, in the second quarter of this year, there were only 270 million, which led to a significant 9% drop.

In the report, Canalys Research Analyst Runar Bjørhovde implies that vendors were obliged to rethink their strategies — as the outlook for the smartphone industry became more cautious in Q2.

He further stated, "economic headwinds, sluggish demand, and inventory pileup have resulted in vendors rapidly reassessing their portfolio 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."

Another Canalys analyst, Toby Zhu, further mentioned: "falling demand is causing great concern for the entire smartphone supply chain." 

Again, the component availability and cost constraints are said to be improving. Yet, there are logistical and production-related difficulties, which are still ongoing. These include issues like import restrictions from emerging countries that further led to delays in customs processes.

As an alternative, vendors have to work closely with the distributors to check the status of supply and inventory to quickly spot the "short term opportunities while maintaining healthy channel partnerships in the long run," Zhu suggests.

Another significant reason, according to the report, is consumers' discretionary income due to rising inflation, which is in contrast to the pent-up demand of last year.

Despite the reduction in smartphone shipments, vendors like Samsung have managed to top the list (in Q2 2022) — thanks to its keen focus on the low-end Galaxy A series, which has brought the Korean manufacturer a 21% market share.

It was followed by Apple with 17%, as the iPhone 13 saw strong demand. On the other hand, Chinese vendors like Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are said to have struggled on their home grounds. They have noticed double-digit declines taking 14%, 10%, and 9% market shares, respectively.

Samsung topped the shipments for the first quarter of 2022 as well. A recent report suggested the OEM maker has dominated Apple with 73.6 million shipments, wherein the latter settled at 56 million global shipments.

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.