COVID-19 lockdown and supply chain issues during the November-December period over iPhone 14 series production in China were responsible for the largest ever drop in smartphone shipments during the holiday quarter, according to IDC.
Although double-digit declines for Apple were first, all of the other top sellers also had double-digit declines comparing 4Q22 with 4Q21. That largest decline ever in a single quarter contributed to a sharp 11.3% drop for the year as it ended 2022 with shipments of 1.21 billion units, marking the lowest annual shipment total since 2013 due to significantly lower consumer demand, inflation and economic uncertainty.
“We’ve never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower than in the previous quarter. However, weak demand and high inventory led sellers to cut shipments significantly,” said Nabila Popal, director of research on the IDC Worldwide Tracker team. Even Apple, which It had seemed invulnerable so far, suffering a setback in its supply chain with unexpected closures at its main factories in China.What this holiday quarter tells us is that rising inflation and rising macroeconomic concerns continue to hamper consumer spending more than expected and drive Any possible recovery until the end of 2023.
However, Apple was still the company with more shipments in Q4 2020. With the iPhone 14 series, Apple shipped 72.3 million units. Compared to 4Q21, the company shipped 85 million iPhones, down 14.9% from a year ago.
Samsung, for example, also saw a significant decline as it shipped 58.2 million Galaxy phones in Q4 of 22. Previously, in Q4 of 21, it shipped 69 million units, down 15.6%. In this case, it’s important to note that Samsung usually releases its flagship phones in February and August, so it makes sense not to have the best holiday quarter while Apple focuses its strategy on these specific months.
While this data is preliminary and subject to change, IDC has managed to show a bad scenario for the mobile industry. Anthony Scarcella, director of research at IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says, “With 2022 down more than 11% for the year, 2023 is set to be a year of caution as vendors will rethink their device portfolio while channels will think twice before taking excess inventory.” “.