Global Phone Demand Drops By 21% In Three Years


The International Data Corporation has revealed that global phone shipments have dipped 21 per cent over a three-year period.

The report showed that global phone shipments dropped by 22 per cent from 340 million units in the first quarter of 2021 to 268 million units in Q1 2023.

In 2021, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the highest global shipment was recorded while it declined to 311.2 million units in 2022 and further dipped to 268 million units in 2023 Q1.

On a year-on-year basis, global phone shipment peaked at the highest in 2021 at 1.67 billion units, with a considerable drop in 2022 at 1.21 billion units.

According to a report, this was the seventh consecutive quarter of decline as the smartphone market struggled with lukewarm demand, inflation, and macro uncertainties.

IDC stated that the decline was more than the 12.7 per cent it had previously forecasted.

The World Economic Forum in a 2021 report noted that “Some experts think that “peak smartphone” is already behind us, market research group IDC remained hopeful for the industry to return to previous heights and even surpass them.”

The Research Director of IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, Nabila Popal, said, “The industry is going through a period of inventory clearing and adjustment.

“Market players remain cautious deploying a conservative approach rather than dumping more stock into a channel to chase temporary gains in share. I think this is the smart thing to do if we want to avoid an unhealthy situation like 2022.

“While we are optimistic about recovery by the end of the year, we still have a tough 3–6 months ahead. Everyone is anxious about exactly when the tide will turn and wants to be the first to ride the wave of recovery. However, it is a tricky situation.”

Generally, the impact of inflation and market saturation has thrown the global phone shipment market into turmoil, especially as projections about a great recession loom.

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