Global smartphone shipments had already begun to shrink forward of 2020, although two years of a pandemic and the ensuing provide chain and chip constraints definitely didn’t assist the general figures. According to a pair of stories from Counterpoint Research and IDC, nonetheless, the market lastly skilled progress last yr for first time since 2017.
Counterpoint places the general year-over-year progress at 4%, with a barely extra optimistic 5.7% from IDC. Both companies, nonetheless, level to a decline for This autumn, at 6% and three.2%, respectively. The decline was to be anticipated, in fact, given continued chip shortages, which have been having an outsized affect on smaller producers with much less leverage over the provide chain than companies like Apple and Samsung.
Both companies put Samsung at high spot for the yr, with a 6% enhance, and Apple taking the No. 2 spot. The companies additionally echo a latest report from Canalys that had Apple profitable the quarter. Apple confirmed those sentiments with a wonderful quarterly earnings report, fueled in no small half by the iPhone’s success.
The firm’s iPhone division skilled a 9% y-o-y gross sales progress, to $71.63 billion. CEO Tim Cook confirmed that provide chain constraints had been a continued hurdle for the firm, with demand outstripping provide in some markets, however added on a name that he sees points starting to lighten, shifting ahead. Such points finally level to a market that may have in any other case extra robustly rebounded.
“The fact that 2021 would have come in drastically higher if it were not for the supply constraints adds even more positivity to the healthy 5.7% growth we saw for 2021,” IDC analysis director Nabila Popal mentioned in a launch. “To me it gives a message that there is significant pent-up demand in almost all regions. Even in China, where there are some challenges around weakening consumer demand, the market performed much better in the fourth quarter than expected, 5% better to be exact, albeit still a year-over-year decline.”
While China continues to be hit strongly by provide chain constraints, the No. 2 and No. 3 smartphone markets skilled progress in 2021.
“Growth in the U.S. was driven largely by demand for Apple’s first 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series seeping through to the first quarter of 2021; demand which continued throughout the year ending on a strong Q4 thanks to Black Friday and holiday season promotions,” mentioned Counterpoint analyst, Harmeet Singh Walia. “India, too, had a good year due to higher replacement rates, better availability and more attractive financing options in mid-to high-tier phones.”
After almost a decade of sturdy progress, a decline in demand grew previous to the pandemic, owing to slowed improve cycles, excessive costs and market saturation. COVID-19 additional fueled the slowdown as shoppers had been much less prepared to spend. Those points had been additional exacerbated by provide chain points, although pent-up demand and issues like 5G have as soon as once more spurred curiosity, although general shipments nonetheless stay under pre-pandemic ranges.