China’s Smartphone Sale Falls to Decade Low

According to third-party research firms, China’s smartphone sales fell to its lowest level in a decade in 2022, dropping 13% due to strict COVID policies and a slowing economy that reduced consumer appetite.

International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that the total number of devices shipped in 2022 was 286 million, down from 329 million. The decline was the first time and the lowest sales since 2013 that the annual sales have fallen below 300 million devices.

Vivo, the top selling brand in 2022, saw total shipment fall 25.1% year on year.

Honor of Huawei’s spinoff, the second best selling brand, saw its shipment growth exceed 34%, although it came from a low base. Apple was the third-best seller in 2022, tied with Oppo, climbing up from the fourth position last year.

According to IDC, China’s dropping smartphone sales had an impact on global performance; in 2022, global shipments were at 1.2 billion, the lowest since 2013.

According to Canalys, a Chinese research firm, Apple sold 16.4 million devices in Q4/22, a 24% decrease year over year. Xiaomi’s shipment fell 37.3%, and Honor’s fell 14.1%, in the same quarter.

Canalys also added that Apple’s shipments first dropped in early 2020, around the time that COVID-19 ruined China. 

The drop was caused by the launch of the latest iPhone series, and employees at Foxconn’s factory were restless, which affected the supply chain. However Apple was still the top selling phone maker in China in the quarter and reached the high record of market share.