The worldwide smartphone market experienced a 10 percent decline, amounting to 258.2 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2023. Despite the decline, there are positive signs of a slowdown in the market contraction, Canalys, a renowned market research firm, said in a recent report.
Leading the pack in terms of shipments was Samsung, which managed to ship 53 million units. Apple held onto its second position, shipping 43 million units and maintaining a 17 percent market share. Xiaomi secured the third spot with 33.2 million units of shipments, and OPPO (including OnePlus) retained the fourth position with a 10 percent market share.
An interesting development in the rankings came from Transsion Group, which includes popular brands like Tecno, Infinix, and iTel. Benefiting from recovering opportunities in the African market and other emerging regions they recently expanded into, Transsion Group managed to enter the top five for the first time. They shipped an impressive 22.7 million units, experiencing a remarkable 22 percent annual growth.
“The decline in the global smartphone market has once again narrowed, helped by an industry-wide inventory reduction and signs of demand recovery in certain regional markets,” Analyst Amber Liu from Canalys said.
This observation suggests that the smartphone industry is gradually recovering from the challenges it faced in recent times.
Samsung’s performance in Q2 2023 was influenced by a conservative strategy amid profitability pressure and a slow recovery in the semiconductor industry. The company’s Q2 performance was reported to be the lowest since 2013. However, with the launch of its latest Galaxy Z Flip and Fold models, Samsung aims to compete with Apple in the luxury smartphone market, laying the groundwork for anticipated recovery in the coming months.
Transsion Group’s impressive growth is attributed to its ability to capture the pent-up low-end demand in the Middle East and African markets, where stabilizing foreign exchange rates boosted partner confidence. Moreover, the vendor’s expansion into Latin America allowed them to cater to low-end demand in under-penetrated markets, further boosting their overall shipments.
Sanyam Chaurasia, analyst at Canalys, said the pace of recovery varies across different regional markets. The Middle East and Southeast Asian markets, in particular, are experiencing increasing vendor investments and a recovery in consumer demand. On the other hand, the Latin American market has shown steady shipment recovery as vendors focus on open channels, creating challenges for leading operators in the core subscription business.
Looking ahead, Canalys predicts a moderate decline in the global smartphone market for the year 2023. The first half of the year saw increased order and margin warming in the smartphone supply chain, aided by higher component prices and reduced channel inventory levels.
Emerging vendors are proving to be more agile and open to exploring new market opportunities, and a healthier business environment is expected in the second half of the year. Balancing short-term market spikes and adapting to long-term structural changes will be key factors for companies seeking to come out strong from this phase of market contraction.