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Apple is the only phone maker that posted positive growth this quarter

Chinese vendors suffered the most as worldwide smartphone shipments declined 9.7% compared to last year.

Published onOctober 28, 2022

picture of phones with UWB antennas
Jared Wilder / Android Authority
  • Global smartphone shipments declined once again in the third quarter of 2022.
  • Apple was the only vendor to post positive growth thanks to the new iPhones.
  • Samsung is still at the top of the market with the highest shipment numbers.

Weak demand and looming economic uncertainty have slowed worldwide smartphone shipments down again this quarter. That means people aren’t buying new phones. So much so that the market witnessed a 9.7% year-over-year decline compared to last year in the months of July, August, and September.

Reports emerging from data tracking firms like IDC and Omdia show that Chinese phone makers suffered the most worldwide. Xiaomi, OPPO group, vivo, Transsion, and realme all saw double-digit falls in shipments, as per Omdia. The research firm reports that this has been a leading cause of the overall decline in global shipments.

Apple outperformed the wider market because its consumers are typically loyal and high-income.

IDC says that while Chinese vendors took the biggest hit, all other smartphone OEMs were impacted, including Samsung and Apple. That said, the iPhone maker was the only brand to deliver positive growth this quarter, even if it was a minor 1.6% increase.

“Apple outperformed the wider market in the third quarter because its consumers are typically loyal and high-income customers, and as such are less affected by the current cost-of-living crisis than mid-range brands,” said Jusy Hong, Senior Research Manager at Omdia.

He added that “despite the rising gas prices, inflation, and lower disposable income, Apple’s iPhones seem to be more resilient; consumers make cutbacks elsewhere and find a way to save up enough to upgrade to the latest generation of iPhone in a way that owners of Samsung, HONOR or OnePlus phones don’t.”

Samsung still holds the top spot in worldwide rankings.

It’s also worth noting that Apple usually sees a spike in the third quarter every year due to the release of the new iPhones, in his case, the iPhone 14 series.

IDC Q3 2022 smartphone shipments

As far as market positioning is concerned, not much has changed in the global smartphone OEM rankings. Samsung held the top spot with a 21.2% share, Apple came in second with a 17.2% share, and Xiaomi came in third with a 13.4% share. vivo and OPPO ended the quarter tied for the fourth position, each with an 8.6% share.

“Developed markets that often sell more premium devices are faring better than emerging markets where smartphones sell for a fraction of the cost. However, as we look toward next year and beyond, if the global market is going to grow, it will need a strong recovery in emerging markets to make that happen,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers.

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