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Apple Led Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2022, Samsung Top Earner in 2022: Canalys

Global smartphone shipments dropped 17 percent year-on-year (YoY) for the October-December period (Q4) in 2022, shows a new report by market research firm Canalys. Smartphone sales worldwide marked a decline of 11 percent in 2022 on account of difficult macroeconomic environment. Following past trends, Apple secured top spot in the fourth quarter and registered the highest quarterly market share ever at 25 percent on the strength of robust demand for the iPhone 14 series. Samsung came in second place, followed by Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo rounding up the top five spots. Samsung had the major share of worldwide smartphone shipments in the entire of 2022.

Analyst firm Canalys reported on Tuesday that global smartphone shipments dropped 17 percent YoY in the fourth quarter of last year. In the whole year, shipments declined by 11 percent to less than 1.2 billion due to difficult macroeconomic environment throughout 2022.

With the launch of the iPhone 14 series in September, Apple emerged as the largest contributor to worldwide smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022. Despite shrinking demand and manufacturing issues in Zhengzhou, the Cupertino-based company grew its market share to 25 percent from 20 percent in Q4, 2021.

Samsung captured the second spot with 20 percent market share, but emerged as the largest vendor for the full year with 22 percent market share, up from 19 percent a year ago. Apple, though, came in second place with 19 percent market share.

Canalys’s report shows that Chinese smartphone makers in the top-five list were not able to grow their market in Q4. Xiaomi retained its third position with an 11 percent market share in the fourth quarter, down from 13 percent last year. It saw dips in its shares largely due to challenges in India. Like Samsung, Oppo also registered a one percent growth compared to Q4 of 2021 and came fourth with a 10 percent market share, up from nine percent in the same quarter of last year. While Vivo maintained the fifth position with an eight percent market share.

In the whole year, Xiaomi got 13 percent market share, while Oppo and Vivo received nine percent market share.

“Smartphone vendors have struggled in a difficult macroeconomic environment throughout 2022. Q4 marks the worst annual and Q4 performance in a decade,” said Canalys Research Analyst Runar Bjørhovde. He opined that compared to Q4 2021, the market’s performance in Q4 2022 saw surging demand and easing supply issues. The holiday sales season helped reduce inventory levels driven by improved promotional incentives.

The research company predicts that smartphone vendors will approach 2023 cautiously by prioritising profitability, cost-cutting, and protecting market share. Canalys forecasts flat to marginal growth for the smartphone market this year. “Though inflationary pressures will gradually ease, the effects of interest rate hikes, economic slowdowns and an increasingly struggling labour market will limit the market’s potential,” said Canalys Research Analyst Le Xuan Chiew.

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