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October Global Smartphone Sales Break Two-Year Losing Streak, Path Set for Gradual Recovery

  • In October 2023, the global monthly smartphone sell-through recorded its first YoY growth since June 2021, breaking the streak of 27 months of consecutive YoY declines.
  • October also marked the biggest monthly smartphone sales since January 2022.
  • Emerging markets led the recovery, with MEA showing the highest YoY growth, followed by China and India

London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – November 22, 2023

Global monthly smartphone sell-through volumes grew 5% YoY in October 2023, the first month to record YoY growth since June 2021 and break the streak of 27 consecutive months of YoY declines, according to preliminary numbers from Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone 360 Monthly Tracker.

Global Monthly Smartphone Sell-Through returns to YoY growth after 2 years

A chart showing Global Monthly Smartphone Sell-Through returns to YoY growth after 2 years

Global smartphone sales have been under stress for the last two years due to factors including component shortages, inventory build-up and lengthening of replacement cycles. These issues have been compounded by an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

The growth in October was led by emerging markets with a continuous recovery in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Huawei’s comeback in China and festive season onset in India, which punched far above its weight to account for the largest share of monthly global gains. Developed markets with relatively higher smartphone saturation have been slower to recover.

Another growth factor has been the late launch of the iPhone 15 series when compared to last year. The one-week delay this year meant the full effect of the new iPhone sales was felt in October.

Following this strong growth in October, we expect the market to grow YoY in Q4 2023 as well, setting out on a path to gradual recovery in the coming quarters.

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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