The report lists the top brands by shipments for early 2022, with Samsung leading the pack with a 24% market share. That’s notably up from 22% during the previous quarter, likely due to the launch of its mid-range smartphones and its flagship Galaxy S22 series.
Smartphone sales are decreasing around the world, but Samsung is still doing well owing to the Galaxy S22. When compared to Q4 2021, smartphone shipments were down 11% in the first quarter of 2022. Samsung remained in first place, with a market share of 24 percent, up from 22 percent the previous quarter. Apple’s stock climbed in the first quarter, while Chinese OEMs declined. According to a preliminary assessment from Canalys, the smartphone sector is experiencing the consequences of weaker demand and economic strain, with shipments falling by 11% in the first quarter of 2022.
Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia says that Apple and Samsung were able to beat the odds by diversifying their product portfolio. “While the iPhone 13 series continues to capture consumer demand, the new iPhone SE launched in March is becoming an important mid-range volume driver for Apple. At a similar price point to its predecessor, it offers an upgraded chipset and improved battery performance and adds the 5G connectivity that operator channels are demanding.”
Apple held onto second place and also saw shipments rise, bringing its market share up from 15% to 18%. That’s fairly impressive as the company is in the middle of its flagship cycle after launching the iPhone 13 back in September. However, it seems the recent launch of the affordable, 5G-touting iPhone SE may have helped despite reports that it’s seeing “lackluster” demand.
“Vendors face major uncertainty due to the Russia-Ukraine war, China’s rolling lockdowns and the threat of inflation. All this added to traditionally slow seasonal demand. Vendors must equip themselves to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and risks while staying focused on their long-term strategic plans. The good news is that the painful component shortages might improve sooner than expected, which will certainly help relieve cost pressures.”
“At the same time, Samsung ramped up production of its popular A series to compete aggressively in the mid-to-low-end segment while refreshing its 2022 portfolio, including its flagship Galaxy S22 series.” Curiously, Chinese vendors such as OPPO and Vivo saw their market share fall during the same period. Canalys VP of mobility, Nicole Peng, notes that there are several variables concurrently affecting the market. “The global smartphone market was held back by an unsettled business environment in Q1,” Peng says in a statement on Wednesday. “Markets saw a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, though minimal hospitalizations and high vaccination rates helped normalize consumer activity quickly.”
With inflation affecting prices everywhere, it may be more important than ever for companies to lean on their mid-range and lower-end products, which would be more palatable for consumers’ wallets. For example, Google is expected to launch the Pixel 6a very soon as an affordable alternative to its latest flagship series. As it will likely be powered by the same Tensor chipset, the phone could see quite a bit of success as an Android alternative to the iPhone SE and thus become one of the best budget Android phones of the year.