In Q3, smartphone makers were not spared by the component shortage and saw the industry lose some of its luster. In a slow-moving market, Apple is still smiling and steals 2nd place from Xiaomi in volume of shipments to come down as the dolphin of Samsung, according to figures published by Canalys.
The third quarter is traditionally the start of the annual renewal for Apple. And for good reason, the Apple brand then draws its new iPhone after having experienced the beginning of the year on the sales of the previous model. So goes the annual report of the Californian giant which is mainly talked about from the start of the school year. With the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max on the right track, Apple remembers the smartphone market in good memory.
A declining market
And yet, to believe the figures published this Friday by Canalys, the global smartphone market fell by 6% in the third quarter of 2021. Obviously, this is due to the shortage of components which is hitting all manufacturers head-on. More than a drop in demand, it is the difficulties of quickly filling orders that they encounter.
No room, no devices, it’s pretty simple. “Smartphone industry strives to maximize device production the best it cant ”, notes Ben Standon, analyst at Canalys. “On the supply side, processor manufacturers are raising prices to discourage oversupply, with the aim of closing the gap between demand and supply ”. And predict: “despite this, the shortages will not diminish before 2022 “. Products less available in quantity, prices increasing and the whole market is coughing.
However, there are still a few happy ones, like Samsung, still the undisputed leader with 23% of shares in the announced global shipments (Canalys figures do not correspond to actual sales, but to shipments for orders, editor’s note). With the recent launch of Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, the South Korean experienced a hell of a boom in sales, especially in his native country. But he was also able to count on the launch of his Galaxy A52s 5G, more modest in specifications, but with a bright future. Enough to make him keep his first place.
Behind him, it is Apple which dislodges Xiaomi from its dolphin chair with 15% of shipments. This is 3% more than last year at the same time, but Apple then split the launches of its iPhone 12 announced mid-October due to the pandemic. It was then necessary to wait until mid-November to see the arrival of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the figures had been recorded for all iPhone 12s in a record 4th quarter. This year, the iPhone 13s were released at the very end of September and these are therefore more than estimated delivery figures, as Canalys always specifies. The final publication will give an exact figure.
A situation that should remain nervous
In third place, we find Xiaomi which retains 14% of global shipments, driven in particular by its multiple summer launches and its smartphones at the start of the year (the entire Mi 11 range in particular and Xiaomi 11T recent) which continue to hit the mark. Vivo and Oppo (with OnePlus included) complete the Top 5 with 10% of the market.
And nothing should really improve in Q4. According to Canalys, the lack of components often induces last minute changes in the specifications of upcoming smartphones and therefore in the quantities ordered. “This leads to confusion and inefficiency when communicating with retail and distribution channels,” says Ben Stanton. “Many chains are nervous as the end of the year approaches, a period of significant sales, including Singles Day in China and Black Friday in the West.”
According to the institute, already low stocks of smartphones encourage customers to anticipate their purchases and not everyone will be able to be satisfied. But for Canalys, sales periods, Black Friday or the approach of the holidays will see discounts “less aggressive»Be offered to customers due to the global shortage and the difficulties in supplying distributors.