Worldwide Smartphone Shipments May Fall 5 Per Cent YoY, Lowest In A Decade, This Year

Global smartphone shipments are estimated to fall 5 per cent YoY to reach 1.2 billion this year, the lowest level in around a decade, a new report by Counterpoint Research said on Thursday.  According to Counterpoint Research’s “Smartphone 360 Global Smartphone Shipment Forecast”, the smartphone shipments are likely to increase by 3 per cent YoY in the fourth quarter (Q4) of the year, to reach 312 million units.

“India, maintaining its momentum for premiumisation, is expected to become Apple’s new growth focus. Apple’s India shipments are predicted to grow 23 per cent YoY in 2024,” Liz Lee, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

“However, due to its underperformance against Huawei in China, Apple’s global market share will unavoidably decline slightly YoY in Q4 2023 and across 2024,” Liz added.

After destocking efforts end with a relatively healthy inventory by year-end, smartphone shipments next year are projected to grow by 3 per cent YoY. We can also expect a recovery focused on emerging markets, backed by increasing consumer confidence and improving macro-economic conditions.

China and emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and India have managed to break out from their declines and will recover to become the new drivers of growth in the smartphone market from Q4 onwards.

Apple, the usual market leader in Q4 with its newly launched series, is expected to record a volume decline of 3 per cent YoY in Q4, mainly due to Huawei’s aggressive expansion in China and prolonged delay in smartphone upgrades in Japan. However, Apple will try to offset the underperformance in volume terms by growing in value terms with a better product mix. In Q4 last year, the shipment share of the iPhone 14 Pro series in the entire iPhone 14 series was 61 per cent. In Q4 this year, however, the iPhone 15 Pro series’ portion in the iPhone 15 series is projected to increase to 65 per cent.

Meanwhile, North America (NAM) and Europe’s smartphone shipments are expected to remain stagnant.

Apple is predicted to be just in line with the market growth next year while facing pressures in its traditional markets. The retention of high interest rates in the US, which hit consumer spending, and intensifying competition in China’s premium smartphone market, mainly due to Huawei, are expected to hinder Apple’s growth throughout 2024.