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Smartphone market in crisis: the third quarter of 2023 marks the worst result in ten years

The smartphone market is going through a difficult phase. According to the most recent data from Counterpoint Research, Global smartphone sales fell 8% on an annual basis in the third quarter of this year, recording its worst quarterly performance in ten years.

The smartphone market in crisis: the third quarter of 2023 marks the worst result in ten years

The Covid-19 pandemic, component shortages and increasingly fierce competition are some of the factors that have negatively affected the smartphone market. Among the main producers, solo Honor, Huawei and Transsion saw their sales grow compared to the same period last year, while all the others suffered double-digit drops.

Samsung confirms itself as market leader with 20% share, but loses one percentage point and 13% in sales compared to the third quarter of 2022. The South Korean giant has focused on its new foldable products, such as the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which has been quite successful, and on its A series, which dominates the medium segment.

Apple comes in second place with 16% share, down one percentage point and 9% in sales compared to last year. The bitten apple launched its iPhone 15 series late, but it received a good response from consumers. Apple is expected to catch up in the fourth quarter thanks to the holiday season.

Xiaomi occupies third place with 12% share, down one percentage point and 15% in sales compared to 2022. The Chinese brand has consolidated its position in key markets such as China and India, but has slowed its expansion into other countries due to logistical difficulties and the limited availability of chips.

xiaomi 13t retro three colors
Xiaomi 13t

OPPO and vivo are competing for fourth place with 8% share each, down one percentage point and 15% and 14% in sales, respectively. These two Chinese brands have also concentrated their efforts on the domestic and Asian markets, where they offer a wide range of models at competitive prices.

The other brands share the remaining 36% share, up four percentage points but down 26% in sales compared to the third quarter of 2022. Among these, Honor, Huawei and Transsion stand out, which recorded annual growth in their sales. Honor benefited from its independence from Huawei, which allowed it to regain access to Google services and Qualcomm chips. Huawei capitalized on the launch of its Mate 60 series in China, where it still enjoys a strong reputation. Transsion continued to expand and benefit from the recovery of the Middle East and African markets.

According to Counterpoint estimates, the global smartphone market will contract in 2023, reaching its lowest level in ten years. Pandemic, supply and demand challenges are not yet overcome, and manufacturers will need to adapt to an increasingly uncertain and competitive environment.

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Pierpaolo Figuccia
Pierpaolo Figuccia

Nerd, passionate about technology, photography and video maker. And of course I love Xiaomi products!


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