Q1 2023 smartphone sales

Counterpoint Research has released the Q1 2023 smartphone shipments data which shows that Samsung was the market leader followed by Apple. Here are the other key takeaways from the report.

Counterpoint Research estimates that global smartphone shipments totaled 280.2 million in the March quarter – a YoY fall of 14%.

Global smartphone shipments fell last year as well, and holiday sales were the lowest since 2013.

Gadget sales swelled in the early days of the pandemic as the majority of people were working from home. This led to some preponement of purchases which is now reflected in lower sales.

The slowing global economy is not helping matters either for the smartphone industry.

In its report, Counterpoint Research said, “The smartphone market was also hit by some major brands supplying fewer new devices to a market struggling with high inventories at a time when consumers are choosing to renew less often, but with more durable smartphones when they do buy.”

According to the Counterpoint report, Samsung shipped 60.6 million smartphones in the quarter which made it the bigger seller.

Apple came in second with 58 million shipments – the iPhone maker was the biggest smartphone seller in the fourth quarter with 70 million shipments.

While Samsung retook the leadership position in the first quarter, there is a catch – the seasonality in Apple iPhone sales whose shipments tend to peak in the December quarter amid the new launch and holiday sales.

Global Smartphone Shipments Q1 2023

Meanwhile, Apple’s Q1 2023 smartphone shipments were 59 million as compared to 58 million in the corresponding quarter last year. In percentage terms, its shipments fell the least among major producers.

Notably, strong iPhone sales helped Apple report better-than-expected earnings in its fiscal second quarter of 2023 which ended April 1.

Apple stock, which hit multi-month lows on the first trading day of 2023 has since rebounded and its market cap is nearing $3 trillion yet again.

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett added Apple shares last year to capitalize on the weakness in its stock price.

Coming back to Q1 2023 smartphone shipments, while Samsung retook the crown of the largest seller, its shipments fell 19% YoY to 60.6 million.

Together, Samsung and Apple accounted for 96% of global smartphone operating profits – even as their combined shipments were just under 43% of global volumes.

Also, Apple is the largest smartphone company by revenue and accounted for half of global smartphone revenues last year.

Apple Mac Shipments Fell in March Quarter

While Apple outperformed global smartphone peers in the first quarter, it’s a different story altogether when it comes to PCs as with a YoY fall of 40%, Mac sales trailed the industry by 11 percentage points.

As Apple underperformed the broader PC industry, its market share fell to 7.2% in the first quarter of 2023 – as compared to 8.6% in the corresponding quarter last year.

However, the sales decline was in line with Apple’s expectations and during the earnings call yesterday CEO Tim Cook said, “Mac faced a very difficult compare because of the incredibly successful rollout of our M1 chips throughout the Mac lineup last year.”

He added, “And like our other product lines, Mac is facing some macroeconomic and foreign exchange headwinds as well.”

India was among the key highlights of Apple’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call as Cook said that the country is at a “tipping point.”

While Apple’s market share in Indian smartphone markets is still in low single digits the company sees it as a big market amid a rising aspirational middle class.

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