Smartphones are not as popular as they used to be. Some even claim that they have reached their peak, and now, with sales dwindling, a new report by TrendForce suggests that the ongoing “economic downturn” is contributing to this decline and has impacted consumer confidence.
To support this, TrendForce reports that global smartphone production volume in the first quarter of this year reached approximately 250 million units, marking a 14.5% year-on-year decrease in overall production. TrendForce said that this decline marks “not only the greatest annual decrease but also a historic low in quarterly production since 2014.”
Individually, smartphone OEMs fared differently—some reported increase in production volume, while some saw massive decreases. Apple, for instance, experienced a 27.5% decrease in Q1 2023, manufacturing around 53.3 million units. The iPhone 14 models accounted for 78% of the total production, and TrendForce expects a slight improvement for the iPhone maker, projecting a 20% decrease in production for Q2 2023.
In contrast, Samsung managed to reverse the trend, reporting a 5.5% quarter-over-quarter increase, producing a total of 61.5 million units. The well-received Galaxy S23 series, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra in particular likely played a significant role in this.
Oppo (including Oppo, Realme, and OnePlus) tweaked its production volume in the first quarter this year—reaching 26.8 million units, but this marked a 17% decrease compared to the previous quarter. However, TrendForce expects a turnaround for Oppo in the second quarter, with production expected to increase by over 30%.
Other players like Xiaomi (including Xiaomi, Redmi, POCO) and Vivo (iQOO included), too, reported a decrease in production—with quarterly decreases of 27.4% and 14.2%, respectively.
The report further notes that due to economic slowdown, people are turning to the used-phone market, and it could “potentially hinder Q2 smartphone production growth."