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Daily Authority: 📉 Smartphone sales drop — but why?

Sales are down 11% over the quarter and working out the real story is tricky, plus FAA memes, and more!
By
April 20, 2022
OnePlus 10 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro showing the back of the phones
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

🍁 Good morning! It’s 4/20! Enjoy!

Sales are down

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion side profile with the original iphone and iphone 13 pro
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

A bad headline for the smartphone industry: shipments fell in the first quarter of 2022 by 11%, the worst fall since early 2019.

But is this a trend for the year to come, or a hiccup?

  • Canalys published the data and pointed at reasons including inflation concerns, to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, to the Omicron variant, to traditionally slow seasonal demand — plus fresh limitations on component availability for entry-level devices.

Here’s the data of worldwide smartphone shipments via Canalys, for Q1 2022:

Vendor:Q1 2021 market share:Q1 2022 market share:
Samsung22%24%
Apple15%18%
Xiaomi14%13%
Oppo11%10%
Vivo10%8%
Others28%27%
  • In terms of who shipped most, as you can see there was some minor shuffling in the market that mostly followed smartphone releases: Samsung was back up as leader, after releasing the S22 series, second-place Apple was down with only the iPhone SE 2022 a new release late in the quarter.
  • None of that should be too surprising.
  • Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo held the other three spots in the top five, holding roughly the same proportion of business, with OnePlus now counted in Oppo’s sales.
  • Canalys did report that part of the slowdown was related to China’s production of semiconductors. A different report this week said production fell for the first time since the pandemic-related halts in 2019, partly due to lockdowns affecting output.
  • The better news, though, is that a VP at Canalys said: “The good news is that the painful component shortages might improve sooner than expected, which will certainly help relieve cost pressures.”

Data missing:

  • There’s some data missing: the 11% drop in sales is a figure without further insight, and we don’t get insights into which end of the market each brand captured.
  • And last year, in Q1 2021, sales rose 27% as people upgraded at faster rates, so maybe this is how things balance out? Regardless, the industry will be hurting give double-digit falls.
  • Canalys used to give out more data, but left out some key figures this time around, possibly due to it being a preliminary report. We’ll see what data other analyst companies like Garner and Counterpoint put out, in the weeks to come.
  • Canalys’ report did mention the Apple iPhone 13 continued to sell well, while the Redmi Note series was a highlight for Xiaomi.
  • More to come in this space!

Roundup

📉 Netflix announced its earnings and it wasn’t great: Its subscriber numbers dropped for the first time in a decade, and the future of Netflix is a) an ad-supported option and b) a big crackdown on password sharing. Netflix said 100 million-plus households use an account they’re not paying for, including 30 million plus in the US and Canada. It also lost 700k subscribers by pulling out of Russia. Its stock price tanked, if you were wondering. (Android Authority).

👉 OnePlus Nord N20 launches April 28 in the US: Here’s what you need to know — $282, exclusive to T-Mo at launch, unlocked later, and …Android 11 (Android Authority).

Google Pixel Watch leaks again showing Fitbit integration (Android Authority).

🐤 I only saw this when catching up on last week’s Android Apps Weekly: Rovio re-released the original Angry Birds and it’s 99c as it was 10 years ago. (Some new apps are worth a look too!) (Android Authority).

🍎 “Incredibly, your Apple HomePod may now be worth more than its $299 MSRP” (The Verge).

😬 The Verge has been chasing Foxconn in Wisconsin very hard over the years. Now, a former Foxconn executive went on the podcast to talk, but the exec mostly says nothing or says the details will be in a book already published or a book to come. Tear your hair out reading/listening here.

🥽 Amazon is hiring to build an “advanced” and “magical” AR/VR product (Ars Technica).

👉 Web scrapers can continue on their merry way: It’s legal, per a judgment about LinkedIn scraping — not amazing news if you were hoping your data wasn’t as porous, but good to prevent “information monopolies” (Ars Technica).

🔋 Huh, there’s a camera battery that recharges through built-in USB-C port on the battery itself, and that’s the future right there (Engadget).

Powered chopsticks use electricity to make food taste 50% saltier, without the salt (Ars Technica).

🔵 The puns will never end! Sending a probe to Uranus labeled as top priority by space science community (The Verge).

🌵 “What survival myth is completely wrong and can get you killed?” (r/askreddit). (Don’t drink cactus water.)

Weirdness Wednesday

People are flying again but things are weird. Airlines and airports are struggling to cope with the travel comeback as they try to rehire staff, sort out luggage issues, stop people fighting on planes*, and so on.

NerdWallet points out that the logic of booking air travel has changed, where the old style of booking long in advance, making firm plans, and flying basic economy were all key ways to get the flight you wanted without paying too much.

Some of that has now changed:

  • Data shows people are booking later than before as more flexible change and cancellation policies from airlines throughout the pandemic continue now.
  • And flexibility is okay but not great: you get a voucher, not a refund.
  • But where that’s not the case is in the basic economy flights. Bare-bones, random seat, no miles accrued, but more importantly, no changes/cancellations are possible.
  • That’s leading to more people booking main cabin fares, booking later, and hopefully, calmer travel.

*Look, the FAA even has memes to go with its zero-tolerance policy:

dont make me turn this plane around
FAA

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor