According to third-party research firms, China’s smartphone sales fell 13% to their lowest level in a decade in 2022 as COVID controls and a slowing economy sapped consumer appetite.
In total, 286 million devices were shipped, down from 329 million in 2022. According to IDC, it was the lowest sales volume since 2013 and the first time since then that annual sales fell below $300 million.
Strict COVID-19 controls weighed heavily on the Chinese economy last year, but Beijing began removing them in December, boosting consumption.
“The strict pandemic control policy has resulted in historically high household savings as consumer spending became conservative,” said Lucas Zhong, who tracks China’s smartphone sector for research firm Canalys.
According to IDC, Android handset maker Vivo was the top-selling brand in 2022, with a market share of 18.6%. Its total shipments decreased by 25.1% year on year.
Honor, a Huawei Technologies spin-off, was the second best-selling brand, with shipments increasing by more than 34%, albeit from a low base.
In 2022, Apple Inc. was the third best-selling phone brand, tied with Oppo, having risen from fourth place the previous year.
According to IDC, Apple’s overall sales fell 4.4% year on year, while all other competitors, with the exception of Honor, saw sales fall in the double digits.
Overall, the drop in smartphone sales in China mirrored the sector’s performance worldwide. According to IDC, global smartphone shipments will reach 1.2 billion in 2022, the lowest level since 2013 and a year-on-year decrease of more than 11%.
According to a separate Canalys report released on Monday, Apple sold 16.4 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2022, a 24% decrease year on year. This compares to a 37.3% drop in Xiaomi shipments and a 14.1% drop in Honor shipments during the same quarter.
This is the first time Apple shipments in China have declined year on year since early 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 swept the country. According to Canalys, the drop was caused by an earlier release of the latest iPhone series, as well as worker unrest at its major manufacturer Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, which impacted its supply chain. learn more
Nonetheless, Apple remained the top-selling phone maker in China in the quarter, with a record-high market share, according to Canalys.
(Adapted from ThePrint.in)
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