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  • Kyle Chua

China’s Smartphone Shipments Fell to Decade Low in Q1 2023

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

China's smartphone market continues to slump as shipments during the first quarter of 2023 falls to its lowest level in a decade.

Reuters
Credit: Reuters

According to tech market insights group Canalys, smartphone shipments in the country fell 11% during the period ending in March, with only 67.6 million units being moved, the lowest it's been since 2013. The latest completed quarter is also the fifth consecutive quarter the world's largest smartphone market has recorded a double-digit drop.


"Economic vitality has rebounded after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, but it has not brought any significant boost to the demand for smartphones," said Lucas Zhong, an analyst at Canalys.


The contracting shipment figures underscore what Canalys has described as a mixed economic recovery in China. The research group points out that while total retail sales of consumer goods went up 5.8% in the country, the demand for communication products have declined.


"The pandemic affected consumer behaviour in the medium to long term, where consumers tended to spend their income on necessary expenses," explained Zhong.


Counterpoint, another market insights group, China's smartphone sales also fell 5% in the first quarter, the lowest it's been since 2014.

Reuters
Credit: Reuters

Apple, however, has managed to weather the not-so-favourable market conditions as demand for the iPhone 14, which launched in September of last year, remains strong. The Cupertino tech giant reportedly shipped 13.3 million devices in the first quarter, making it the top smartphone vendor in China with a 20% market share.


Oppo comes in at a close second with a 19% market share, having shipped around 12.6 million devices in the quarter.


Vivo, Honor and Xiaomi, all of which are homegrown smartphone makers, round out the top five, with a share of 17%, 14% and 13%, respectively. But Xiaomi and Honor recorded the largest shipment declines in the quarter, with the former down 35% and the latter down 20% year-on-year.


Meanwhile, Canalys reports worldwide smartphone shipments were down 13% to 269.8 million for the quarter.


"The market remains challenging and Canalys maintains its forecast of marginal declines for 2023", said Zhong, noting that he only expects the market to bounce back in the second half of the year.

 
  • Smartphone shipments in China fell 11% during the period ending in March, with only 67.6 million units being moved, the lowest it's been since 2013, according to Canalys.

  • The research group points out that while total retail sales of consumer goods went up 5.8% in the country, the demand for communication products have declined.

  • Canalys also reports worldwide smartphone shipments were down 13% to 269.8 million for the quarter.







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