Global smartphone shipments fall 11pc as Samsung takes top spot

20 Apr 2022

Image: © Luka/

A Canalys analyst said leading vendors accelerated their growth despite market uncertainty. Samsung is now in the lead with a 24pc market share.

Global smartphone shipments fell by 11pc during the first quarter of 2022 due to global economic issues and “sluggish seasonal demand”, according to market analyst firm Canalys.

In a report released yesterday (19 April) Canalys VP for mobility Nicole Peng said the global market was held back by “an unsettled business environment”.

“Vendors face major uncertainty due to the Russia-Ukraine war, China’s rolling lockdowns and the threat of inflation,” Peng said. “All this added to traditionally slow seasonal demand. Vendors must equip themselves to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and risks while staying focused on their long-term strategic plans.”

Peng added that a spike in Covid-19 cases also affected the market during this period, but low hospitalisation numbers and high vaccination rates helped “normalise consumer activity quickly”.

She also noted that the “painful component shortages” might improve sooner than expected, which would relieve cost pressures for smartphone vendors.

While electronics companies have been impacted by the ongoing semiconductor shortage, chipmakers have been ramping up spending on new factories and production equipment, with capital expenditure in the global semiconductor industry reaching an all-time high of $152bn in 2021.

Samsung in the lead

“Despite the looming uncertainty in global markets, the leading vendors accelerated their growth by broadening device portfolios for 2022,” Canalys technology analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said.

According to the report, Samsung took the lead last quarter with a 24pc market share, up from 22pc during the same period last year. Apple was next with an 18pc total share, up from 15pc. Chinese phone company Xiaomi had a 13pc share, down from 14pc the year before.

“While Chinese vendors are still suffering supply constraints at the low end, their global expansion is being hampered by a slowdown in their home market,” Chaurasia added.

He said the new iPhone SE launched in March is becoming an “important mid-range volume driver” for Apple, while its iPhone 13 series “continues to capture consumer demand”.

He added that Samsung has managed to “compete aggressively” in the mid-to-low-end segment of the market with its A series products. Samsung broke quarterly and annual revenue records at the end of 2021, driven by strong demand for consumer electronics such as smartphones as well as its semiconductor business.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic