The smartphone market has been in decline for the last few quarters, and that’s not surprising given global economic condition. A pair of reports from analytics firms Counterpoint and Canalys suggests that the trend is continuing, even though there are signs of recovery in the future. The reports note that buyers are still looking for cheaper options, either through the refurbished market or companies offering discounts for their older models to clear stocks.
The smartphone market has registered a decline for the eighth straight quarter with an 8% year-on-year dip, according to a report by analytics firm Counterpoint. Canalys’ report suggests that the dip for Q2 2023 was 11% with a streak of six quarters of negative growth.
Samsung led the pack because of strong sales of its mid-range Galaxy A series. While Apple held the second spot, the iPhone maker had the biggest Q2 market share ever, according to Counterpoint. China-based incumbents Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo took third, fourth, and fifth spots. Both Canalys and Counterpoint reports noted almost similar market shares for these phone makers.
Counterpoint also noted that the premium phone market — which includes devices with a $600+ wholesale price tag — showed great growth. Premium phones captured more than 20% of the market in terms of shipment for the first time. This goes hand in hand with a good quarter for Apple with most of its devices priced above $600. Counterpoint said that the company registered a 50% year-on-year growth in India — with the country on track to becoming the fifth biggest contributor to global iPhone sales.
While the overall smartphone market is still declining, a report published earlier this year noted that the refurbished phone market grew by 16% year-on-year. This means consumers are more willing to buy a used device at a lower rate than a brand-new device.
Both reports throw a lot of jargon to indicate recovery, but the gist is that manufacturers are trying hard to get rid of their old device stock through various discounts and sales schemes. This could pave the way for demand for newer models and fuel market recovery.
Canalys says that it has seen increased marketing activity from phone makers for its upcoming launches. Plus, it said that companies like OPPO, Vivo, Transsion, and Xiaomi are pushing their sub-$200 models through retail channels, which could be key to growth in countries like India.
Analysts didn’t specify a timeline for when we will see the recovery of the market. But they indicated that smartphone companies are taking measures like buying components in large quantities to fight price hikes and inflation.