Inflation to drive global smartphone shipment down — IDC

Global smartphone shipments have been forecast to decline by 4.7 per cent year-on-year in 2023 to 1.15 billion units according to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

This would be the lowest volume in a decade and was because of a weaker economic outlook and ongoing inflation, which had dampened consumer demand and lengthened refresh cycles. It was also a downward revision from IDC’s previous forecast of -3.2 per cent.

Despite this lower forecast for 2023, the data insight firm expected the market to recover in 2024 with 4.5 per cent year-on-year growth followed by growth in the low single digits resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate of 1.7 per cent.

The Research Director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, Nabila Popal, said, “Although inventory levels have normalised, the majority of OEMs remain extremely cautious in their business planning for the short term, yet again kicking the recovery can down the road.

“While the market will undoubtedly return to growth, longer refresh cycles are tapering the rate of growth over the long run, preventing the total available market from reaching pre-Covid levels. In such an environment, it is crucial for vendors to strategise to increase their value and focus on channel incentives and promotions to attract consumers and bring them home by providing flexible financing options. As consumers hold onto their devices longer, the bright side is they are willing to pay more, which will in turn help average selling prices to rise for the fourth consecutive year in 2023.”

According to IDC, iOS shipments are expected to attain a 1.1 per cent growth in 2023, to reach an all-time high share of 19.9 per cent. It stated that iOS phones continue to remain more resilient to macro challenges than Android phones, which are forecasted to decline by 6.0 per cent this year.

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