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A new report from Counterpoint Research shows that 2023 might likely end up as “the worst year for global smartphone shipments in ten years.” Nonetheless, the firm said there is a silver lining for Apple despite this awful prediction: it could snatch the top spot for annual shipments globally for the first time ever.

The report highlights the bad situation in the smartphone market, which is no secret to everyone. In the past months, different reports about smartphone shipment declines have been reported, and Counterpoint believes this could transform 2023 as the worst year for the shipment of the said devices. As per the firm’s Global Smartphone Shipment Forecast data, shipments in 2023 are expected to drop 6% to 1.15bn units. Counterpoint stressed in the report that this would be the lowest for the market in a decade, citing the challenges being faced by Asia, China, and North America.

In spite of the unfavorable forecast, the research company said that this would allow Apple to emerge as the top brand for annual shipments. “…We’re watching Q4 with interest because the iPhone 15 launch is a window for carriers to steal high-value customers. And with that big iPhone 12 installed base up for grabs promos are going to be aggressive, leaving Apple in a good spot,” explained Jeff Fieldhack, Counterpoint’s Research Director for North America. “It’s the closest Apple’s been to the top spot. We’re talking about a spread that’s literally a few days’ worth of sales. Assuming Apple doesn’t run into production problems like it did last year, it’s really a toss up at this point.”

The statement, nonetheless, is not a full assurance Apple will have the top spot. As Fieldhack noted, this still depends on how the company will handle its production. Unfortunately, recent reports show Apple is still being challenged in its iPhone 15 production. In the latest one from Jeff Pu of Hong Kong-based investment firm Haitong International Securities, the company is reportedly making some production cuts in its iPhone 15 line due to supply issues and demand concerns.


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