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Smartphone sales in China for 2022 fell to their lowest level in a decade

Smartphone sales in China for 2022 fell to their lowest level in a decade

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s smartphone sales hit a record low in 2022, data from outside research firms showed, tumbling 13 percent to a decade low, as the control of the coronavirus and slowing economy dampened consumer appetite.

The total number of devices shipped was 286 million, down from 329 million in 2022. It was the lowest sales volume since 2013, and the first time since then that annual sales have fallen below 300 million, according to the IDC report.

Strict coronavirus controls took a toll on the Chinese economy last year, but Beijing began dismantling restrictions in December, boosting consumption. Read more

“Tight control of the epidemic has led to historically high household savings as consumer spending becomes conservative,” said Lucas Chung, who tracks China’s smartphone sector for research firm Canalys.

Android phone maker Vivo was the best-selling brand in 2022, with a market share of 18.6%, according to IDC. Its total shipments fell 25.1% year-on-year.

Huawei Technologies spin-off (HWT.UL) Honor was the second best-selling brand, with shipments growing by more than 34%, albeit from a lower base.

Apple company (AAPL.O) It was the third best-selling phone brand in 2022, tied with Oppo, up from fourth place a year earlier.

Apple’s overall sales fell 4.4% year over year, according to IDC, while all other competitors except Honor saw sales decline in double digits.

Overall, the decline in smartphone sales in China mirrored the sector’s performance globally. In 2022, global smartphone shipments reached 1.2 billion, the lowest level since 2013 and an annual decline of more than 11%, according to IDC.

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A separate report from Canalys published on Monday said that in the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple sold 16.4 million devices, down 24% year over year. This compares to a 37.3% decline in shipments from Xiaomi and Honor’s 14.1% decline during the same quarter.

This is the first time that Apple’s shipments have declined year-on-year in China since early 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 swept the country. Canalys said the decline was caused by an earlier version of the latest iPhone series, as well as workers’ unrest at its maker’s Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, which affected its supply chain. Read more

Canalys added that Apple remained the best-selling phone maker in China in the quarter, recording record market share.

(Reporting by Josh Horowitz) Editing by Robert Purcell and Stephen Coates

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