Global Smartphone Market Grows After Two Year Slump – Counterpoint

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Global smartphone market returned to growth in October after a slump of more than two years, new research from Counterpoint finds

Good news for the mobile phone sector after analyst house Counterpoint Research recorded a health growth in smartphone shipments in October.

Counterpoint Research announced that in October 2023 the global monthly smartphone sell-through recorded its first year-on-year (YoY) growth since June 2021, breaking the streak of 27 months of consecutive YoY declines.

Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone 360 Monthly Tracker found that in October, global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent YoY, with emerging markets leading the recovery.

Asia will see millions of new E-commerce customers over the next five years.
Asia will see millions of new E-commerce customers over the next five years.

Smartphone shipments

The Counterpoint data backs the recent findings of TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, who in October forecast growth may return to China’s smartphone market, following promising sales during the “Golden Week” period that ended on 6 October.

According to Counterpoint, global smartphone sales have been under stress for the last two years due to factors including component shortages, inventory build-up and lengthening of replacement cycles.

These issues have been compounded by an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

The growth in October was led by emerging markets with a continuous recovery in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, it reported.

This was coupled with Huawei’s comeback in China and festive season onset in India, which punched far above its weight to account for the largest share of monthly global gains, Counterpoint stated.

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro. Image Credit Huawei

Developed markets with relatively higher smartphone saturation have been slower to recover.

Another growth factor has been the late launch of the iPhone 15 series when compared to last year. The one-week delay this year meant the full effect of the new iPhone sales was felt in October.

Following this strong growth in October, Counterpoint said that it expect the market to grow YoY in Q4 2023 as well, setting out on a path to gradual recovery in the coming quarters.

Chinese market

Last month a Jefferies update stated that Apple’s iPhone had officially been dethroned from its position as the smartphone market share leader in China.

The Jefferies analysts had concluded that sales of the recently launched iPhone 15 in China have disappointed, while Huawei sales have risen.

Those analysts found that smartphone sales in China had showed positive growth year over year, driven primarily by high double-digit growth in Android sales led by Huawei, Xiaomi and Honor devices.