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Worldwide smartphone shipments suffered their worst quarterly drop on record over the holiday period, according to IDC, and Apple was not immune to the cooling consumer demand amid the global economic downturn.

iphone-14-pro-box.jpg

The research firm estimates that Apple shipped 72.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, down year-on-year from 85 million units, representing a 14.9% drop in shipments compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Other major smartphone brands suffered similar double-digit setbacks. Samsung's shipments fell by 15.6% year-on-year, and Chinese mobile makers OPPO and vivo suffered almost equivalent declines, with Xiaomi performing worst over the quarter with a 26.3% drop in shipments.

Overall, global smartphone shipments declined 18.3% in the December quarter compared to a year earlier, to a little over 300 million units. The drop marks the largest-ever decline in a single quarter and contributed to a steep 11.3% decline for the year.

"We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower," Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, said in a press release. "However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments."

In addition to inflation and economic uncertainties, lockdowns in China were another factor that hurt the industry, including Apple's iPhone shipments, she said. "Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth."

idc-q422-phone-shipments.jpg

Riots broke out in late November at the world's largest iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where Foxconn workers were unhappy with Covid restrictions and unpaid bonuses. iPhone production at the factory in Zhengzhou was said to have been significantly affected by the protests, leading to lengthy shipping delays over the holiday period.

According to IDC, 2022 ended with global smartphone shipments of 1.21 billion units, which represents the lowest annual shipment total since 2013 due to significantly dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties.

Despite the difficult holiday period, Apple's market share remained steady, and the company maintained its position as the top smartphone maker for the December quarter with 24.1% market share, up 1% from a year ago. For the year, Apple reached 18.8% market share compared to 17.3% the previous year, coming second only to Samsung, which took 21.6% market share in 2022 compared to 20% over 2021, according to IDC estimates.


Article Link: iPhone Shipments Suffered Double-Digit Drop Over Holiday Quarter, Says IDC
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2002
6,832
9,200
Vancouver, BC
When you don’t change that much, what do you expect? People are keeping phones longer and, truth be told, the 14s just weren’t all that exciting. I barley care about the dynamic island already.

People mistake the Dynamic Island as a feature. It's not, fully. It's a creative solution to the camera and Face ID hardware blended elegantly with notifications and app interactions. It is partly a feature in that it exposes a background app persistently, such as status updates, game scores and timer settings, which is cool and very handy. Those don't exist on pre-14 phones.
 

sam_dean

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Sep 9, 2022
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Was there a rationale given to them dropping it? And are they also dropping the SE?
Any company do not issue product refreshes largely because it does not sell as well as expected.

iPhone SE's positioned to be the mass market iPhone that companies would issue to their personnel.

Also entry level iPhone for those who want iOS but cannot or will not spend extra for the high end iPhone experience. I think the SE took the place of the iPod touch as a Point of Sales for many retailer.
 
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Delgibbons

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2016
744
1,598
London
When you don’t change that much, what do you expect? People are keeping phones longer and, truth be told, the 14s just weren’t all that exciting. I barley care about the dynamic island already.
It’s super handy to switch quickly to the Waze app, for example, or to music. I use it a fair bit. They need to sort the battery life on the 14 pro though it’s shocking. Worse than my 5 year old Samsung s10+
 

FlimFlamDude

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2021
17
19
Any company do not issue product refreshes largely because it does not sell as well as expected.

iPhone SE's positioned to be the mass market iPhone that companies would issue to their personnel.

Also entry level iPhone for those who want iOS but cannot or will not spend extra for the high end iPhone experience. I think the SE took the place of the iPod touch as a Point of Sales for many retailer.
Sure - I imagine it's mainly sales related but maybe it wasn't. For me, I loved SE because it was a small screen, no stupid notch and no stupid Face ID. If they're going to force me to use this junk to upgrade, I may just NOT upgrade. Because what am I even getting that matters in new phones? I avoided the 13 Mini for this reason. Not interested.
 

AndiG

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2008
904
1,632
Germany
These insane sales figures have to stop. A modern iPhone is fast (enough). For me, there is no reason to upgrade my iPhone11 pro as it is still beyond awesome.

I even do not need a new iP for satisfaction and I do not care about the design, since it resides in a case. Same is true for the AW, it is good enough and it will never compete against a Garmin Epix/Fenix.

But Apple could make money selling services. I'd like to see Apple Pay e.g. on a Garmin Watch.

The only thing Apple has to offer these days is just YAP - Yet Another Phone ...
 

contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,458
17,272
Mexico City living in Berlin
The product (smartphone) has sort of reached its peak and there is nothing wrong with that. Previous generations are simply good enough and at those price points nowadays … I am like why should I pay 1,5k Euro for a new iPhone only to go back to literally the same Home Screen, using the exact same Apps the exact same way. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Holding onto my 12 PM at least for another year. They’d have to release a super light iPhone with a new battery technology lasting literally days to get me to upgrade now haha
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 65816
Jan 28, 2011
1,132
3,877
Edinburgh, UK
Apple needs sharper pricing in their mid-range devices. There are always those who will pay the premium for a Pro iPhone, but the standard models are now priced too high and too close to the Pro.
I'm not sure, you can buy an iPhone at near enough every £100 between £449 and £1249.

Not everyone needs to pay a premium for the latest model, Apple still sell the iPhone 12 which is still a highly competent phone, especially when it comes against most mid-range Android devices at the same price point.
 
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sam_dean

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Industry-wide smartphone replacement cycle lengthened to 3 years or longer. I keep to a 2 year cycle for business expense reasons.

If I was unemployed I'd probably keep my iPhone until it ceased receiving Security Updates (not Software Updates) until 93-112 months.

That's approaching 8 or 10 years. Doing a battery replacement every 24 months.
 

sam_dean

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Sep 9, 2022
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You can still buy the 13 mini from Apple if you want one.

I have a friend who works in a pretty busy high street phone shop and he's said the 12 and 13 mini models were easily their least popular iPhones in terms of handset sales and contracts.

Supply chain or contract-wise it may be cheaper to continue to produce them than to update them.

Apple does do this from time to time. See the last SuperDrive Mac being offered without refreshed Intel chip for for 4+ years before being discontinued.
 

DelayedGratificationGene

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2020
758
2,567
Yes everyone knows the Dec Q was a rough one for China, inflation etc and especially for Apple. Wall Street took Apple stock down to the mid 120s because of it. However the future is what matters and it’s looking much brighter and WS is pricing that in.
 
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