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Apple's iPhone still a highpoint despite global smartphone market declines

iPhone 15 Pro

The global smartphone market has dropped down to its lowest levels in a decade, but while Apple saw a year-on-year drop in iPhone volume, it didn't shrink as much as other major vendors.

Apple has often been the highlight of reports about the global smartphone market and its continuing decline. In a new report from Counterpoint Research, that's still the case in Q3 2023.

The note seen by AppleInsider claims global smartphone sell-through has declined 8% year-on-year, but did grow 2% in successive quarters in Q3 2023. Counterpoint deemed this to be the ninth consecutive quarter to record a year-on-year decline, with a "slower than expected recovery in consumer demand" behind the drop.

However, analysts are positive about the quarter-to-quarter growth, including the performance in September "despite one full week less of sales of the new iPhones."

On a per-vendor basis, Apple has a 16% share of the smartphone market for Q3 2023, which is marginally down from 17% in Q3 2022. Counterpoint says this is "despite the limited availability" of the iPhone 15 collection, which has been positively received.

[Counterpoint Research]
[Counterpoint Research]

Samsung is in first place with 20%, with Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo behind Apple at 12%, 10%, and 8% respectively.

In terms of shipment changes, the year-on-year change for Apple is a 9% reduction in the quarter. By contrast, Samsung was down 13%, Xiaomi dropped 15%, Oppo went down 10%, Vivo declined 14%, and the "Other" vendor group dropped 26% in the period.

After a strong start in September, Counterpoint expects the momentum to continue until the end of the year, "beginning with the full impact of the iPhone 15 series." The festive season sales in India, the 11.11 sales event in China, western holiday sales, and end-of-year promotions in all regions could cause the market to "halt its series of YoY declines" in Q4.

Even so, Counterpoint expects the market to decline for the full year of 2023, which would be its "lowest level in the decade." The blame is leveled at a "shift in device replacement patterns, particularly in developed markets."