China’s smartphone sales in 2022 plunge to the lowest level in a decade
SHANGHAI, Jan 30 (Reuters) – China’s smartphone sales experienced a record drop in 2022, falling 13% to the lowest level in a decade as COVID controls and a slowing economy dampened consumer appetite, data from third-party research firms showed.
The total number of units shipped was 286 million, down from 329 million in 2022. It was the lowest sales volume since 201[ads1]3 and the first time since then that annual sales have fallen below 300 million, IDC said in a report.
Strict COVID-19 controls weighed heavily on the Chinese economy last year, but Beijing began to ease restrictions in December, boosting consumption. read more
“The strict pandemic control 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.
Android phone maker Vivo was the best-selling brand in 2022, with a market share of 18.6%, according to IDC. Its total shipments fell 25.1% from a year earlier.
Huawei Technologies ( HWT.UL ) spin-off Honor ranked as the second best-selling brand, with shipments growing more than 34%, albeit from a low base.
Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) was the third best-selling phone brand in 2022, tied with Oppo, moving up from fourth place the year before.
Apple’s overall sales fell 4.4% year-on-year, according to IDC, while all rivals except Honor saw double-digit sales declines.
Overall, the decline in smartphone sales in China mirrored the sector’s performance globally. In 2022, global smartphone shipments reached 1.2 billion, the lowest since 2013 and a year-over-year drop of more than 11%, according to IDC.
A separate Canalys report published Monday said that in the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple sold 16.4 million units, down 24% year-on-year. This compares to a 37.3% decline in shipments from Xiaomi and Honor’s 14.1% drop in the same quarter.
It’s the first time Apple shipments have fallen year-on-year in China since early 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 swept the country. The drop was caused by an earlier release of the latest iPhone series, as well as labor unrest at major manufacturer Foxconn’s factory in the city of Zhengzhou that affected the supply chain, Canalys said. read more
Still, Apple remained the best-selling phone maker in China in the quarter, reaching record market shares, Canalys added.
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Robert Birsel and Stephen Coates
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