China smartphone sales in 2022 plunge to lowest level in a decade

SHANGHAI, Jan 30 (Reuters) – China’s smartphone sales suffered a record slump in 2022, falling 13% to their lowest level in a decade as COVID controls and a slowing economy sapped appetite of consumers, according to data from third-party research companies.

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

Tight COVID-19 controls weighed heavily on China’s economy last year, but Beijing began dismantling restrictions in December, boosting consumption. Read more

“The strict pandemic control policy has resulted in historically high household savings as consumer spending has turned conservative,” said Lucas Zhong, who tracks China’s smartphone sector for research firm Canalys.

Android handset maker Vivo was the top-selling brand in 2022, with an 18.6% market share, according to IDC. Its total shipments fell 25.1% year-on-year.

Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) spin-off Honor ranked 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 from fourth place the previous year.

Apple’s overall sales fell 4.4% year-on-year, according to IDC, while all other competitors except Honor saw sales fall by double digits.

Overall, the slump in smartphone sales in China mirrors the industry’s performance globally. In 2022, global smartphone shipments hit 1.2 billion, the lowest since 2013 and a year-over-year decline of more than 11%, according to IDC.

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

It’s 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. The fall was caused by an earlier release of the latest series of iPhones as well as unrest at its main maker Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou city that impacted its supply chain, it said. said Canalys. Read more

Still, Apple remained the top-selling phone maker in China during the quarter, achieving record market share, Canalys added.

Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Robert Birsel and Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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