Sharp drop in global phone shipments

Global phone shipments fell 18.3 percent as consumer demand slumped.

Global smartphone shipments suffered their worst quarterly decline on record, a clear sign of cooling consumer demand for manufacturing hubs like South Korea and Vietnam.

Shipments totaled just over 300 million units in the December quarter, down 18.3 percent year-on-year, Massachusetts-based IDC said on Thursday. Shipments fell 11.3 percent during the year, the lowest total in a decade, the researchers said.

“We’ve never seen shipments drop during the holiday season,” Nabila Popal, IDC’s director of research, said in a press release. He said that alongside inflation and economic uncertainties, the Kovid restrictions in China are another factor that hurt the division, including Apple’s iPhone sales. “Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth,” Popal added.