Smartphone industry to begin recovery late next year – IDC

IDC initially expected the global smartphone market to grow by 1.6% during the course of 2022. After several revisions, the firm now expects the industry to decline by 9.1%.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

December 2, 2022

2 Min Read
Smartphone industry to begin recovery late next year – IDC

Smartphone vendors like Apple and Samsung will see their fortunes begin to rise during the second half of 2023, according to a new forecast from research and consulting firm IDC.

"We believe the global smartphone market will remain challenged through the first half of 2023, with hopes that recovery will improve around the middle of next year and growth across most regions in the second half," IDC's Ryan Reith, group VP of the firm's Consumer Device Tracker service, said in a release.

However, Reith warned that IDC has again lowered its smartphone sales forecast for the intervening period. Specifically, IDC now expects shipments of smartphones to decline 9.1% in 2022, a reduction of 2.6 percentage points from its previous forecast. For 2023, the firm reduced its forecast by roughly 70 million units, "given the ongoing macroeconomic environment and its overall impact on demand."

Figure 1: (Source: Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

IDC previously lowered its 2022 smartphone outlook in June, from an initial expectation of 1.6% growth in the space.

Broadly, the global sale of smartphones this year has been affected by a variety of macroeconomic trends including rising costs. For wireless network operators, that means fewer sales of smartphones and fewer opportunities to gain new customers who might switch providers amid the purchase of a new phone.

The trend could also affect 5G specifically. That's because consumers globally may be holding onto 4G phones longer in order to avoid the purchase of a costly 5G phone.

IDC's latest forecast follows similar warnings from other players in the space. For example, Qualcomm last month provided a revenue forecast fully $2 billion below market estimates. Qualcomm supplies core silicon to the likes of Apple, Samsung and others.

At the time, Qualcomm also reduced its projections for global 5G handset sales in 2022 to around 650 million, down from earlier forecasts of up to 750 million units.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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