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Smartphone Shipments To Decline In 2022 Due To Pandemic, Inflation

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus AM AH 09
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Owing to factors like the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in some regions and the inflation crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war, research firm TrendForce is expecting a year-on-year (YoY) decline in smartphone shipments this year. It has revised its shipment estimates for 2022 to 1.333 billion, which is marginally less than the 2021 shipment volume. The company had previously estimated the smartphone market to grow 3.8 percent YoY to reach 1.39 billion units in 2022.

According to TrendForce, global smartphone shipment reached 310 million units in the first quarter of 2022. It marks a steep 12.8 percent decline from the previous quarter, i.e. Q4 2021. But since the last quarter of the year is usually the strongest for the smartphone industry and the first quarter is considered as off-season, this decline doesn’t come as a surprise.

However, there were additional factors that affected production this past quarter. These include the pandemic-induced lockdowns in the world’s largest smartphone market China as well as the global inflation crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Fewer people in China are purchasing new smartphones. The country could see a 13 percent YoY decline in shipments this year, down from 325 million units to 283 million units. China’s share in the global market could also go down from 24.2 percent last year to 21.1 percent this year. It will remain the biggest market though, with India (13.1 percent) and the US (11 percent) following distantly.

With things still not improving, TrendForce sees smartphone shipments topping out at 309 million units in the second quarter. That’s lower than Q1, which isn’t a good sign. Smartphone sales usually go up from Q1 through Q4. Having said that, 2021 saw a similar trend as well. Smartphone shipments in Q2 and Q3 were lower than in Q1. Component shortages and the pandemic caused this decline. These are unprecedented times, you know.

Shipments could go up a little in the second half of 2022

Based on numbers provided by TrendForce, global smartphone shipments would reach 619 million units in the first half of 2022. So another 714 million smartphones would have to be sold in the second half of the year to make up the firm’s estimated figure of 1.333 billion for the whole of 2022. That would mark a decent 15 percent rise from the first six months.

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But TrendForce suggests the final figures would depend on how things evolve down the line. The firm doesn’t expect any improvement though. Instead, it has warned of the possibility of more downward revisions in the future. We will keep you posted if it does revise its estimates again.