Global Smartphone Shipments Expected to Decline 1.1% in 2023
Weak demand means that recovery isn’t expected until 2024, IDC reported
NEEDHAM, Mass.—With the smartphone business recovering slower than expected, International Data Corporation (IDC) has revised its worldwide smartphone forecast downward and is now predicting that global shipments of smartphones will decline 1.1% in 2023 to 1.19 billion units. Previously it had forecast 2.8% growth for 2023.
IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker forecast noted that the market continues to suffer from weak demand and ongoing macroeconomic challenges. Real market recovery is not expected to occur until 2024, when IDC expects 5.9% year-over-year growth followed by low single-digit growth leading to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6%.
"With increasing costs and ongoing challenges in consumer demand, OEMs are quite cautious about 2023,” said Nabila Popal research director with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “While there is finally some good news coming out of China with the recent reopening, there is still a lot of uncertainty and lack of trust, which results in a cautious outlook. However, we remain convinced the global market will return to growth in 2024 once we are past these short-term challenges as there is a significant pent up refresh cycle in developed markets as well as room for smartphone penetration in emerging markets to fuel stable long-term growth."
The researchers noted that 5G continues to grow and will account for 62% of smartphones shipped worldwide in 2023, rising to 83% by 2027. Market momentum also continues to build around foldable phones as the segment is expected to grow to nearly 22 million units this year – a 50% increase while the overall market contracts. This segment will continue to grow as costs decrease and more OEMs launch this form factor, as we have seen this week with multiple Android foldable launches at Mobile World Congress.
Finally, smartphone average selling price (ASP) that saw rapid growth over the last few years (from $334 in 2019 to $415 in 2022) will begin to decline starting in 2023 and is expected to reach $376 by end of the forecast period.
"2023 is set to be a year of two halves with the first half piggybacking off the downhill slide from the fourth quarter of 2022," said Anthony Scarsella, research director with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "Most regions will face double-digit declines in the first half of the year, make a turn into positive territory in the third quarter, and then boost into double-digit growth in the last quarter of the year. We expect the influx of premium flagships that typically launch in the third and fourth quarters will keep the full year decline from being worse."
More details and data are available here.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.