Global Smartphone Shipments Fall as Consumer Demand Cools

Worldwide phone shipments fell to a quarterly record low, as consumer demand remained cool, which affected South Korea and Vietnam as the manufacturing hubs.

In the December quarter, shipments shrank 18.3% compared with a year before to only 300 million units, according to Massachusetts-based IDC. For this year, shipments shrank 11.3%, and it was the lowest total in a decade.


The chaos at Apple’s main factory in China may have halted shipments this quarter.


As Samsung Electronics operated factories in South Korea and Vietnam, smartphone shipment is among a key source of income for both countries. Last quarter, Samsung posted the profit fall in a decade due to the lower demand of semiconductors.

Korea’s smartphone shipment is expected to increase by 0.7% this year, after falling by 21.0% last year.