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Global Handset Shipments Stagger in Q1 2022

by Ken Hyers | May 04, 2022

Global handset shipments fell by double digits compared to the year-ago quarter.  The smartphone industry is being battered on multiple fronts, with no region unaffected.

War, rising energy costs, inflation, threats to food supplies, disease and other issues are all front of mind for consumers right now, leading them to rein in spending, including on new phones. 

For handset vendors, Q1 2022 was challenging.  Of the top ten vendors, half experienced negative annual shipment growth, with most of the battering occurring among the leading vendors with greatest exposure to global markets.

Handsets by Region Q1 2022

The regional picture was more nuanced for individual vendors. For those that saw positive growth only one, Apple, could truly be considered a global smartphone vendor, with the others focused more narrowly on one or just a few markets (i.e. Honor in China, or Itel in Africa).

For Samsung, the global Android leader, and overall smartphone leader in Q1 2022, the Americas was its strongest market by share, while EMEA was its strongest by shipment volumes. And while it is the market leader in Asia Pacific, its share in China remains an issue.

Apple is exceptionally strong in the Americas, but this masks problems for the vendor in Latin America where its premium smartphones remain too expensive for many and Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi outperform it. Meanwhile in North America Apple is the leading brand by shipments once again in the quarter.

Xiaomi, in third place among global handset vendors, has inherited the role that Huawei once played as China’s flagship global smartphone brand.  Its global focus, however, has exposed it to some of the same forces that impact other global brands, resulting in double-digit annual declines in growth in Q1 2022.

Clients of our Smartphone (WSS) service can discover more details in the report VENDOR SHARE: Global Handset Market by Region: Q1 2022, which gives shipment and share by vendor from 2007 to Q1 2022 across all major global regions. 

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