Apple’s iPhone suffered from a 15% drop in shipments during the holiday period, as smartphone shipments overall suffered their worst quarterly drop on record over the holiday period, according to IDC.
The research firm estimates that Apple shipped 72.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, down year-on-year from 85 million units, representing a 14.9% drop in shipments compared to the same quarter a year ago.
Other major smartphone brands saw even worse shipping numbers. Samsung’s shipments fell by 15.6% year-on-year, while Chinese mobile makers OPPO and vivo suffered almost equal declines. Xiaomi performed worst during the quarter with a 26.3% drop in shipments.
Overall, global smartphone shipments declined 18.3% in the December quarter compared to a year earlier, to a little over 300 million units, for a steep 11.3% decline for the year.
“We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower,” Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, said in a press release. “However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments.”
Lockdowns in China were another factor that hurt the industry, including Apple’s iPhone shipments, she said. “Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth.”
According to IDC, 2022 ended with global smartphone shipments of 1.21 billion units, which represents the lowest annual shipment total since 2013.
iPhone production at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou was significantly affected by riots in late November, leading to lengthy shipping delays over the holiday period.
Apple’s market share remained steady, and the company maintained its position as the top smartphone maker for the December quarter with a 24.1% market share, up 1% from a year ago.