Global smartphone sales return to growth in October, breaking two-year losing streak

Global smartphone sales return to growth in October, breaking two-year losing streak
The global smartphone industry has experienced a roller coaster ride in recent years, with only one major smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, managing to increase its shipments year-over-year during Q3 in 2023. However, it appears that the industry is finally turning the corner.

According to data from Counterpoint Research (via Reuters), the global smartphone market returned to growth in October after more than two years of slump, driven by a recovery in emerging markets.

Global monthly smartphone sales increased by 5% in October, marking the first month to record year-on-year growth since June 2021. This breaks a streak of 27 consecutive months of negative year-on-year growth.

The smartphone industry has faced various challenges in recent years, including supply chain disruptions, inventory build-up, and lengthening replacement cycles. However, the report is optimistic that the market is on a path to recovery. 

After experiencing significant growth in October, there is an expectation of continued year-on-year market expansion in the fourth quarter of 2023. This trend is seen as a potential indicator of a gradual recovery for the market in the coming quarters.

The growth in October was led by emerging markets, with a continuous recovery in the Middle East and Africa, Huawei's comeback in China, and the onset of the festive season in India. In the third quarter, Huawei experienced robust growth in smartphone sales in China, with a remarkable 37% surge. The Mate 60 series phones proved highly popular among consumers, contributing to this impressive increase.

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Developed markets, with their relatively higher smartphone saturation, have been slower to recover. However, the launch of Apple's iPhone 15 series is also a factor contributing to the growth, with the report saying that “another growth factor has been the late launch of the iPhone 15 series when compared to last year." The new iPhone sales had a full impact in October this year due to a one-week delay.

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