China’s 2022 smartphone sales fall to a decade low

China’s smartphone sales fell to a record in 2022, falling 13% to their lowest level in a decade. Here’s why.

Data from third-party research firms shows that China’s smartphone sales dropped a record in 2022, falling 13% to a decade-low due to COVID-19 control and the economy. The slowdown has reduced consumer demand.

The total number of devices shipped was 286 million, down from 329 million in 2022. This is the lowest sales level since 2013 and the first time since then that annual sales have fallen below 300 million, IDC said in a report.

Strict control of COVID-19 weighs heavily on Chinese people economy last year but Beijing began lifting restrictions in December, boosting consumption.

“Strict pandemic control policies have resulted in household savings at historically high levels as consumer spending turns frugal,” said Lucas Zhong. Who China’s smartphone sector tracker for research firm Canalys.

Android handset manufacturer vivi is the best-selling brand in 2022, with a market share of 18.6%, according to IDC. Its total shipments fell 25.1% year-on-year.

Huawei Technologies subsidiary Honor ranks as the second best-selling brand, with sales increasing by more than 34%, despite a low starting point.

Apple Inc is the third best-selling phone brand in 2022, along with Oppo, up from fourth place the previous year.

According to IDC, Apple’s total sales fell 4.4% year-over-year, while all other competitors except Honor saw double-digit declines in sales.

Overall, the decline in smartphone sales in China reflects the performance of the industry globally. According to IDC, in 2022, global smartphone sales will reach 1.2 billion, the lowest level since 2013 and down more than 11% year-on-year.

A separate report from Canalys published on Monday said that in the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple sold 16.4 million devices, down 24% from the same period last year. This compares with Xiaomi’s 37.3% drop and Honor’s 14.1% drop in the same quarter.

That marks the first time Apple’s shipments have fallen year-over-year in China since early 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 swept the country. Canalys said the drop was due to the earlier release of the latest iPhone series as well as worker unrest at major manufacturer Foxconn’s factory in the city of Zhengzhou that has affected its supply chain.

Still, Apple remained the top-selling phone maker in China this quarter, reaching a record high market share, Canalys added.


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