Shipments totaled 268.5 million units in Q1 2023, which, when compared to the previous year, marks a decrease of 12.7%. Two of the largest OEMs, Samsung and Xiaomi, reported 18.3% and 22.0% falls in shipments year-on-year, respectively. Realme has taken one of the largest YoY falls, from 15 million shipments in Q1 2022 to 8 million in Q1 2023, a 43.8% slump.
According to the latest Omdia smartphone preliminary shipment report, despite the large year-on-year fall Samsung has seen, it still had the most shipments in the first quarter of the year, recording 60 million shipments.
Its lead on Apple has dwindled compared to Q1 2022, from 18 million more than Apple in 2022 to just 3 million more in Q1 2023.
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Despite the flat shipment levels, Apple’s market share has increased year-on-year as a result of all other OEMs seeing falls in shipments, increasing marginally from 18% in Q1 2022 to 21% in Q1 2023. It seems Apple is weathering the economic storm better than other OEMs and is recovering from the blow to its two-year streak of YoY continued growth.
“Due to production disruptions at Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant in December of last year, Apple was unable to supply the necessary quantities for the most important sales season, Christmas, and the end of the year. As a result, some of Apple’s production was carried over to the first quarter of this year,” explained Jusy Hong, senior research manager at Omdia.
The newly released iPhone 14 Pro Max sales volume recorded the highest, followed by the Pro model.
Xiaomi, occupying the third spot, is still facing a big inventory problem in Latin America and the European market, with weak demand in India. It recorded 31 million shipments in the first quarter, a 22% drop YoY.
The two other biggest Chinese OEMs, Oppo and vivo, also saw declines, with the former having 27 million shipments and the latter having 21 million.
This shrinking domestic market has also hit the recovery plans of Huawei, which has seen two consecutive quarters of shrinking shipments. Regardless, Huawei is still in a better position now versus a year ago, recording 6.5 million shipments in Q1 2023, a 14.3% increase from the 5.6 million smartphones shipped in Q1 2022.
“The key global economic problem facing the smartphone industry remains inflation and the resulting squeeze on wage packets and the economy. The problem of high inventory levels is slowly lifting, although the low consumer demand is extending this problem longer than predicted,” concluded Hong.
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