Smartphone sales to drop 5.8%: Gartner forecast

Smartphone shipments are estimated to decrease 5.8 percent this year and greater China shipment to fall 18.3 percent, Gartner said.
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“At the beginning of the year, the greater China 5G phone market was expected to show double-digit growth,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner.

Apple (21.9 percent), Samsung (18.2 percent), Xiaomi (11.8 percent), Oppo (8.6 percent) and Vivo (7.7 percent) were the top smartphone makers in the world based on their market share during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Shipments to China – the world’s biggest smartphone market – are expected to shrink by 18 percent as demand takes a beating from strict COVID-19 curbs that halted activity in key economic hubs including Shanghai, Gartner said in a report.

Canalys, a leading research agency, earlier said the smartphone market in Mainland China in Q1 2022 fell 18 percent year on year and 13 percent sequentially to 75.6 million units.

Honor (20 percent share), Oppo (18 percent share), Apple (18 percent share), Vivo (16 percent share), and Xiaomi (14 percent share) were the top smartphone brands in China in Q1 2022.

Gartner said global phone sales will drop 7.1 percent this year, revising its earlier estimate of a growth of 2.2 percent, Reuters news report said.

Mobile phone shipment in 2022 is expected to fall to 1.46 billion units from 1.57 billion, and Gartner’s earlier forecast of 1.60 billion.

“I have taken out about 150 million mobile shipment out of the forecast and what that say to you is the lifetimes (of mobiles) are increasing,” Ranjit Atwal said. “For every three months people hold on to their phones, around 150 million units get lost.”

Worries of a global recession and high inflation in several countries might influence consumer decisions in spending for discretionary items.

Mobile phone makers Samsung and Apple saw declining sales in several regions in the first quarter hit by China’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

Personal computer shipments will drop 9.5 percent in 2022, compared with its earlier forecast of a 4 percent fall. Lenovo, HP and Dell are the top three PC makers.

The declining PC and smartphone market will not get compensated by automobiles and other areas which will likely result in easing of chip shortage later this year, Ranjit Atwal said.

Higher demand for smartphones and PCs during the pandemic had led tech companies to place big orders with chipmakers which resulted in shortage of semiconductors that are used in industries including automobiles and telecom.

The forecast mirrors commentary from industry players, with chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) saying earlier this month that the PC market was set for a slowdown after two very strong years.

The soft demand for PCs and smartphones is likely to weigh on companies from chipmakers such as Nvidia to mega-cap tech firms including Apple and Microsoft. Those companies are set to report second-quarter earnings starting next month.