Global smartphone sales fall again - could discounts be on the way?

(Image credit: Shutterstock / ImYanis)

A new report from Canalys has claimed that the global smartphone market has declined for the third consecutive time this year.

The analyst firm found sales in Q3 2022 were down 9% from the same period last year as consumers around the world tighten their belts to afford essentials. 

The bad news may also be set to continue, with Canalys saying it expects this trend to continue for the next six to nine months.

Widespread impact

Canalys found that all the top smartphone makers were impacted to varying degrees. Apple was the only company to actually see positive growth in the period, as demand for the latest iPhone models remained strong, with the tech giant now holding an 18% market share. 

Out front, Samsung still remains the most dominant player in the global market with a share of 22%, thanks to big promotions aimed at shifting inventory. The other vendors rounding out the top five - Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo - retained their market shares (14%, 10% and 9% respectively) but were reluctant to expand overseas given the economic turbulence.

Canalys analyst Amber Liu said that as the smartphone market is very sensitive, it reacts strongly to reductions in demand. This has forced vendors to sell-through inventory by offering heavy discounts and promotions to avoid stockpiles building up. 

Consumers are also being easily spooked by price increases due to the current global economic climate, forcing even Apple to price its products more carefully. This may all change with the upcoming peak trading season though, with vendors seeing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as an ideal chance to shift some stock.

Another analyst at Canalys, Sanyam Chaurasia, said that demand looks set to remain stagnant until the first half of 2023, which will mean vendors will have to plan ahead carefully with their supply chain to avoid oversupply and assess their pricing to maintain their market shares. 

She also said that as consumers are reducing their outgoing income on non-essentials, they will expect reductions on older generations of devices and bundle deals. She added that “compared to the strong demand period of the previous year, a slow but steady festive sale is anticipated in Q4 2022”.

Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.