Smartphone production to grow 0.9% to 1.202 bn: TrendForce

TrendForce forecasts that global smartphone production will reach around 251 million units for 1Q23, reflecting a YoY decline of 18.9 percent.
Forecast on smartphone production for 2023TrendForce currently projects that global smartphone production for the whole 2023 will rise by 0.9 percent to 1.202 billion units.

Global smartphone production reached around 301 million for 4Q22, reflecting QoQ growth of 4 percent and a YoY decline of 15.5 percent, according to TrendForce’s latest research.

Annual global smartphone production fell by 10.6 percent to 1.192 billion units for 2022.

Despite the labor shortage at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou base, Apple raised iPhone production  by 44.7 percent QoQ to 73.5 million. Apple became the world’s top smartphone brand by quarterly production. For the whole 2022, Apple produced 233 million units of iPhones and took second place in the global ranking of brands by annual production.

In 2023, Apple will focus on upgrading the hardware specifications of its iPhone models and have its second partner for EMS start assembling the iPhone Pro models. Apple will expand its device production in India.

Samsung lowered the capacity utilization rates of its device assembly lines last December to balance out its smartphone inventory. Samsung’s smartphone production fell by 9.2 percent QoQ to 58.3 million units for 4Q22. In 2022, Samsung remained at the top with around 258 million and a YoY drop of 6.1 percent. Samsung will pay more attention to the high-end segment of the smartphone market for higher profit growth.

Chinese brands Xiaomi (including Redmi, POCO, and Black Shark), OPPO (including Realme and OnePlus), and Vivo (including iQoo) were third, fourth, and fifth respectively in the ranking by quarterly production for 4Q22. All of them posted a decline for the quarter and the entire 2022.

Xiaomi prioritizes the reduction of channel inventory for the first quarter of this year, so its device production in the same period will also be affected by this decision.

OPPO managed to raise the share of overseas markets in its smartphone sales to almost 60 percent by the end of 2022, but its device production is being constrained by the high level of channel inventory. OPPO will be scaling back output in 1Q23 as it concentrates on inventory adjustments.

Vivo was the first among brands for Android smartphones to begin adjusting inventory, and its inventory level was again relatively healthy at the end of 2022. Vivo’s smartphone production fell under the threshold of 100 million units for the first time in 2022.

Honor has been able to grow its share of the domestic market, becoming more of a direct threat to Vivo. Vivo is still holding a fairly conservative outlook for the domestic market, though there is an anticipation that China’s domestic demand will rebound as the country’s economy recovers from the latest wave of COVID-19 lockdowns.