Smartphone manufacturers, Samsung and Apple, retained their leadership of the global smartphone market in 2022, even as their market share went up.
This is according to the latest report by Canalys, a global smartphone analyst company that monitors shipments by device makers.
Samsung topped the list by increasing its market share from 20% in 2021 to 22% in 2022. Apple also grew its market share from 17% in the preceding year to 19% in 2022 to retain the second position.
The gains by the top mobile vendors were despite a general decline in the smartphone market for the year. According to Canalys, smartphone shipments declined by 11% to fewer than 1.2 billion, reflecting an extremely challenging year for all vendors.
Difficult Q4 2022: While smartphone vendors had struggled throughout the year as global inflation affected sales, Canalys said the situation got worse in Q4. Explaining the market’s performance in the last quarter of the year, Canalys’ Research Analyst, Runar Bjørhovde, said:
- “Q4 marked the worst annual and Q4 performance in a decade in the global smartphone market. The channels were highly cautious with taking on new inventory, contributing to low shipments in Q4.
- “Backed by strong promotional incentives from vendors and channels, the holiday sales season helped reduce inventory levels. While low-to-mid-range demand fell fast in previous quarters, high-end demand began to show weakness in Q4. The market’s performance in Q4 2022 stands in stark contrast to Q4 2021, which saw surging demand and easing supply issues.”
Cautious 2023: Canalys Research Analyst Le Xuan Chiew said vendors will approach 2023 cautiously, prioritizing profitability and protecting market share.
- “Vendors are cutting costs to adapt to the new market reality. Building strong partnerships with the channel will be important for protecting market shares as difficult market conditions for both channel partners and vendors can easily lead to strenuous negotiations,” he said.
Canalys forecasts flat to marginal growth for the smartphone market in 2023, with conditions expected to remain tough.