Saturday, 16 October 2021 07:56

Smartphone shipments fall again in 3Q, Apple regains second spot Featured

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Smartphone shipments fall again in 3Q, Apple regains second spot Image by naobim from Pixabay

Component shortages have ensured that third-quarter global smartphone shipments would fall, with the technology analyst firm Canalys reporting a drop of 6% for the three months ending in September, according to preliminary figures issued on Friday. The second quarter had witnessed a drop of 20.4%.

Samsung kept its top spot with a share of 23% while Apple regained the second spot, with 15% share, Canalys said in a statement. Xiaomi took third spot (14% share) while vivo and OPPO rounded out the five with 10% apiece. The OPPO shipments included OnePlus following the integration of the two in June.

In the second quarter, Huawei was in second spot, with a 15.7% share, according to statistics from Gartner, but the brand appears to have fallen away, not figuring in the top five which together made up 72% of the total shipments.

Canalys principal analyst Ben Stanton said: “The chipset famine has truly arrived. The smartphone industry is striving to maximise production of devices as best it can.

"On the supply side, chipset manufacturers are increasing prices to disincentivise over-ordering, in an attempt to close the gap between demand and supply. But despite this, shortages will not ease until well into 2022. As a result of this, as well as high costs of global freight, smartphone brands have reluctantly pushed up device retail pricing.”

smartphones q3 2021 canalys

Another technology analyst company IDC predicted last month that the current shortage of semiconductors should be over by mid-2022. Somewhat surprisingly, IDC forecast that there would potentially be an oversupply in 2023 as large-scale capacity expansions came online towards the end of 2022.

Stanton said at the local level, smartphone vendors were also having to implement last-minute changes in device specification and order quantities.

"It is critical for them to do this and maximise volume capacity, but unfortunately it does lead to confusion and inefficiency when communicating with retail and distributor channels,” he said.

“Many channels are nervous heading into important sales holidays, such as Singles’ Day in China, and Black Friday in the west. Channel inventories of smartphones are already running low, and as more customers start to anticipate these sales cycles, the impending wave of demand will be impossible to fulfill.

"Customers should expect smartphone discounting this year to be less aggressive. But to avoid customer disappointment, smartphone brands which are constrained on margin should look to bundle other devices, such as wearables and IoT, to create good incentives for customers.”


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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