Global smartphone shipments sink by 6% due to supply constraints

Past part shortages, stricter COVID-19 testing and quarantining necessities are delaying the transportation of key components, says IDC.

Smartphones on the counter of a electronics store

Picture: Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

Provide shortages and associated snafus have lastly caught up with the smartphone business, placing a dent within the double-digit development seen earlier in 2021. Worldwide smartphone shipments fell by 6.7% through the third quarter, dropping to 331.2 million, analysis agency IDC mentioned on Friday. Although the third quarter is often languid upfront of the vacation season, the decline was virtually twice IDC’s forecast of a 2.9% descent.

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Compared, smartphone shipments surged by greater than 25% within the first quarter of 2021 and by greater than 13% within the second quarter, in line with IDC. Fellow analysis agency Canalys additionally reported on the most recent outcomes, pegging the quarterly lower at 6%, with complete shipments coming in at 325.5 million.

IDC blamed the third-quarter downfall largely on provide chain constraints.

“The availability chain and part scarcity points have lastly caught as much as the smartphone market, which till now appeared virtually resistant to this challenge regardless of its opposed affect on many different adjoining industries,” mentioned Nabila Popal, analysis director with IDC’s Mobility and Client Machine Trackers. “In all actually, it was by no means totally resistant to the shortages, however till lately the shortages weren’t extreme sufficient to trigger a decline in shipments and was merely limiting the speed of development. Nevertheless, the problems have now compounded, and shortages are affecting all distributors alike.”

Different elements have paused the sector’s restoration from final yr’s downturn. Extra stringent testing and quarantining insurance policies to fight the coronavirus pandemic have delayed the transportation of vital components and merchandise. Plus, constraints of energy provides in China have restricted the business’s skill to fabricate core parts.

“Regardless of all efforts to mitigate the affect, all main distributors’ manufacturing targets for the fourth quarter have been adjusted downwards,” Popal mentioned. “With continued robust demand, we do not anticipate the supply-side points to ease till effectively into subsequent yr.”

The severity of the decline in shipments differed based mostly on area. Central and Japanese Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) have been hit by the largest drops at -23.2% and -11.6%, respectively. The U.S. fared significantly better with a dip of simply -0.2%, adopted by Western Europe with a -4.6% downturn, and China with a -4.4% fall.


Picture: IDC

Regardless of a droop in shipments, Samsung was the highest vendor for the quarter with 69 million telephones shipped, in line with each IDC and Canalys. Shipments fell because of provide shortages of Galaxy A collection units in addition to the shortage of a brand new Galaxy Word cellphone, mentioned Canalys principal analyst Ben Stanton. On the plus facet, Samsung shipped greater than 3 million of its foldable units, together with the Galaxy Z Flip3 and Fold3, however these outcomes weren’t sufficient to spice up the general numbers.

Having fun with a wholesome upturn, Apple took again the second spot as iPhone shipments jumped to round 50 million. The iPhone 13 began robust with strong pre-orders. The corporate additionally skirted previous among the constraints that harm different smartphone distributors by utilizing its retail shops to push gross sales.

“However Apple’s efficiency goes far past the iPhone 13,” mentioned Canalys analysis analyst Le Xuan Chiew. “For instance, it sustained the momentum of the iPhone 12 with wholesale discounting behind the scenes. It’s making speedy progress with new B2B channel initiatives around the globe. And it continues to curry favor with community operators, serving to to drive their person bases towards 5G, and getting iPhones prioritized of their portfolios.”

Chinese language distributors Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo took residence the remainder of the highest 5 spots. Xiaomi got here in third although its shipments fell for the quarter. OPPO and Vivo each scored a rise in shipments.

“Xiaomi additionally noticed demand outstrip provide, however this was partly because of a blockbuster efficiency within the earlier quarter, which depleted out there inventory,” Stanton mentioned. “In distinction, OPPO and Vivo had a rebound in Q3 after COVID ravaged core markets in South Asia within the earlier quarter.”

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