Smartphone market: collapse despite the Christmas holidays, consumers ignore the new models.
The collapse during the holidays (an unheard-of fact) is due at least in part to the fact that the new smartphones have nothing new compared to the previous models.
Smartphone shipments fell 20% year-over-year during the recent holiday period, due to sharply weakened consumer demand due to inflation and economic uncertainties. It’s the “largest decline ever in a single quarter,” according to IDC, and helped make 2022 the year with the fewest smartphone shipments since 2013.
While 1.21 billion smartphones were still shipped in 2022, shipments during the all-important holiday quarter were actually lower than the previous quarter for the first time in history. “We have never seen lower holiday quarter shipments than the previous quarter,” said Nabila Popal, research manager at IDC. “However, weak demand and high inventory have caused suppliers to drastically reduce shipments.”
Smartphone makers are being extremely cautious due to a weak market
This points to weaker consumer demand and the fact that modern smartphones have reached something of a ceiling in terms of capabilities, with older models doing their job perfectly.
Have modern smartphones reached some sort of ceiling in terms of capabilities and innovation? According to consumers, older models do their job perfectly.
IDC says it has noticed that people now wait well over 40 months after buying their phone before considering upgrading to a new model. We’ve seen this trend in recent years, with AT&T and Verizon warning as early as 2019 that upgrade rates had hit an all-time low due to fewer customers interested in switching phones. The smartphone market has become saturated in many countries and there is less reason to upgrade your smartphone to a newer model every couple of years.
Even though all the major smartphone vendors saw their shipments drop from the previous year, Apple maintains the top position with Samsung in second place.