According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, global smartphone shipments declined by a slight 0.1% to 302.8 million units in the third quarter of 2023.

Despite continued economic uncertainty, weak demand, inflation and geopolitical tensions, some manufacturers are cautiously ramping up shipments after a significant 7.8% quarter-on-quarter decline in global smartphone shipments.

Apple’s regional performance in Q3 2023

Apple shows growth in all regions except China, where it faces competition from Huawei and economic instability that is forcing consumers to be more discerning in their purchasing decisions.

Continued decline in China

In 3Q23, smartphone shipments in China fell 6.3% year-on-year, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of decline. Factors such as youth unemployment, real estate crisis and deflation have significantly impacted consumer spending and macroeconomic situation in China.

Regional differences

Shipments in Europe, Japan and the US declined by 8.6%, 5.3% and 1.1% respectively. However, emerging markets such as the Middle East & Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan and China) grew shipments by 18.1%, 8.2%, and 1.3%, respectively.

Emerging markets are showing promise

Nabila Popal, research director at IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, noted a positive trend in emerging markets, with manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Transsion increasing shipments of their smartphones.

While this indicates a potential economic recovery, manufacturers should be mindful of inventory management due to low demand in some regions.