Global Smartphone Shipments Stabilize in Q3 2023 Despite Economic Uncertainties

Worldwide smartphone shipments showed resilience in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23), with a marginal 0.1 percent year-over-year decline to 302.8 million units, IDC said.
IDC Smartphone market share report Q3 2023Top smartphone vendors in Q3 2023 are Samsung with 59.5 million units, Apple with 53.6 million, Xiaomi with 41.5 million, OPPO 27 with million, and Transsion with 26 million units.

In terms of smartphone market share, Samsung has 19.7 percent share compared with Apple’s 17.7 percent,  Xiaomi’s 13.7 percent, OPPO’s 8.9 percent, and Transsion’s 8.6 percent during the third quarter of 2023.

Samsung lost share in the global smartphone business to 19.7 percent vs 21.4 percent in Q2 2022.

Apple has increased its share in the global smartphone business to 17.7 percent vs 17.2 percent in Q2 2022.

Xiaomi has increased its share in the global smartphone business to 13.7 percent vs 13.4 percent in Q2 2022.

Oppo has lost its share in the global smartphone business to 8.9 percent vs 9.5 percent in Q2 2022.

Transsion has substantially increased its share in the global smartphone business to 8.6 percent vs 6.3 percent in Q2 2022.

This unexpected stability comes as markets grapple with macroeconomic uncertainties, soft demand, inflation, and geopolitical tensions. Healthy inventory levels and a deceleration in the pace of decline have given some smartphone vendors the confidence to boost their shipments.

Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, noted, “Emerging markets, in particular, are witnessing a notable surge in shipments, driven by vendors such as Xiaomi and Transsion. While this uptick signifies a positive step towards recovery, vendors must remain vigilant about sell-through to prevent accumulating excess inventory.”

“Demand remains weak in many regions. Conversely, Apple is experiencing growth across most regions, except for China. In China, it is facing renewed competition from Huawei and navigating heightened macroeconomic uncertainties, causing consumers to be more cautious in their purchasing decisions,” Nabila Popal said.

China recorded a 6.3 percent year-over-year decline in smartphone shipments in 3Q23, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of contraction. Youth unemployment, the ongoing real estate crisis, and deflation have put a damper on consumer spending and the broader macroeconomic environment in China.

Meanwhile, Europe, Japan, and the United States reported declines of 8.6 percent, 5.3 percent, and 1.1 percent, respectively. In contrast, emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America (LA), and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) showed growth in 3Q23 shipments of 18.1 percent, 8.2 percent, and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Anthony Scarsella, research director, Mobile Phones at IDC, expressed his surprise at the continued growth in the high-end smartphone market despite global economic challenges.

“The growth in the high-end market may seem counterintuitive given the economic challenges. The high-end segment continues to thrive thanks to favorable trade-in and financing options in many developed markets. As consumers opt for premium models, the refresh cycle is extending,” Anthony Scarsella said.

While macroeconomic uncertainties persist, the smartphone market is showing signs of resilience and adaptability, with emerging markets playing a crucial role in sustaining the industry’s momentum. Smartphone vendors continue to navigate the complex economic landscape by offering enticing trade-in options and financing plans that make high-end devices more accessible to consumers, thereby keeping the industry afloat amid challenging times.