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A new report from International Data Corporation shows that smartphone shipments this year will further drop to a lower position, which will be a new low in ten years. Despite this, the market intelligence provider noted that Apple would be able to adapt to the challenges compared to its Android rivals.

IDC 2023 iOS smartphone shipment growth

The data shows that the 2023 global smartphone shipments will now reach only 1.15 billion units, translating to a year-on-year decrease of 4.7%. This further drags the numbers shared by the company in June, showing shipment estimates to be 1.17 billion units, which only equates to a 3.2% YOY drop. As the IDC stressed, this new low is the worst in a decade, citing a weaker economic outlook and ongoing inflation as reasons. Research Director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, Nabila Popal, also mentioned longer refresh cycles as a contributing factor in the current issue and suggested ideas to aid vendors.

“In such an environment, it is crucial for vendors to strategize to increase their value and focus on channel incentives and promotions to attract consumers and bring them home by providing flexible financing options,” said Popal. “As consumers hold onto their devices longer, the bright side is they are willing to pay more, which will in turn help average selling prices to rise for the fourth consecutive year in 2023.”

On the other hand, IDC pointed out that Apple’s iPhones would be able to better cope with the challenge. According to the report, iOS shipments will have a 1.1% growth in 2023, allowing it to reach an all-time high share of 19.9%. The Program Vice President for IDC’s Mobile Device Tracker suite, Ryan Reith, praised Apple for this and credited trade-in offers and expansion of ‘buy now, pay later’ programs for the said growth. This growth forecast for Apple reflects a recent report showing three of Apple’s iPhone 14 models snatched the top 3 most shipped smartphones in the first half of 2023. It also complements Counterpoint Research’s report weeks ago, claiming Apple could get the top spot for annual shipments globally for the first time ever despite 2023 being “the worst year for global smartphone shipments in ten years.”

Unfortunately, Android shipments are expected to face a 6.0% shipment decline this year due to the conditions in China, Asia/Pacific (except Japan and China), Latin America, the United States, and Western Europe. Yet, on a positive note, the report echoes earlier market forecast reports, such as Sony’s, that 2024 will be the year for the smartphone shipment recovery.

“Despite the lower forecast for 2023, IDC expects the market to recover in 2024 with 4.5% year-over-year growth followed by growth in the low single digits through the remainder of the forecast, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate of 1.7%,” the report shared.


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