Why 2023 Is the Worst Year for Smartphones Yet!

The global smartphone market is facing a challenging year in 2023. Multiple reports indicate a significant decline in smartphone sales and shipments. This article aims to give a full, data-driven look at the current state of the smartphone market.

Key Takeaways

  • Smartphone sales have declined by 8% year-over-year in Q3 2023.
  • Major brands like Apple and Samsung are experiencing subdued demand.
  • The MEA (Middle East and Africa) region is the only growth area.
  • Market experts anticipate a rebound in Q4 2023 due to various factors like festive seasons and new launches.
  • Changing device replacement patterns are affecting the market, especially in developed countries.
Why 2023 Is The Worst Year For Smartphones Yet

The Current State of the Smartphone Market

According to a report from Counterpoint, global smartphone sales dropped by 8% compared to the same time last year in Q3 2023. This marks the ninth straight quarter of decline. However, there was a 2% growth compared to the previous quarter. The delayed recovery of consumer demand was the primary cause of the sales decline.

Top 5 OEMs in Q3 2023

  1. Samsung: Led the global market with a fifth of Q3 sales.
  2. Apple: Took second place with a 16% market share.
  3. Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo: Rounded out the top five but saw year-over-year declines.
  4. HONOR, Huawei, and Transsion Group: Gained market share and experienced year-over-year growth.
  5. Transsion brands: Expanded, benefiting from the MEA market recovery.

Regional Analysis

The MEA region was the only one to show year-over-year growth in Q3 2023. Developed markets like North America, Western Europe, and South Korea experienced significant declines but are expected to rebound in Q4 2023.

Market Expectations for Q4 2023

Counterpoint anticipates continued momentum through the year-end, driven by the iPhone 15 series’ full impact, the festive season in India, and end-of-year promotions. They foresee a halt in year-over-year declines in Q4 2023.

Additional Data and Insights

According to a Reuters report, the global smartphone market contracted 8% to its lowest third-quarter level in a decade. IDC also reported a 7.8% year-over-year decline to 265.3 million units in the second quarter of 2023. Canalys showed a 13% decline in Q1 2023.


The global smartphone market is going through a tough phase, with declines across multiple quarters. However, there are signs of recovery, and the last quarter of 2023 could bring some respite. Brands and regions are adapting to these changes, and it will be interesting to see how the market evolves in the coming months.

Smartphones Sales Declining 2023

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