Smartphone production recovered in the second half of 2023, with production growth of 13% in the third quarter
December 22, 2023

Smartphone production recovered in the second half of 2023, with production growth of 13% in the third quarter

Production smartphones recovered strongly in the second half of 2023, fueled by lower inventories in sales channels and higher seasonal demand.

Global smartphone production in the third quarter reached about 308 million units, an increase of 13% compared to the previous quarter. It was also a 6.4% increase from the same period last year, breaking an eight-year trend of annual declines.

The fourth quarter of 2023 is expected to bring further growth in smartphone production, as online store promotions and year-end shopping sprees stimulate increased demand. In addition, smartphone brands usually ramp up production at the end of the year.

TrendForce estimates that smartphone production will grow by 5–10% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter. Global smartphone production is expected to decline by less than 3% in 2023, with a total output of around 1.16 billion units.

Huawei’s return to the market poses a challenge to Apple’s market share in China for the coming year

Samsung maintained its market leadership with its flagship smartphones, increasing production in the third quarter by 11.5% to 60.1 million units. However, careful planning by Samsung due to global economic uncertainties, it has reduced its annual production compared to Apple to only 5 million units.

Apple benefited from the launch of its new flagship models, increasing production in the third quarter by 17.9% to around 49.5 million units.

However, Apple’s performance in the third quarter was affected by low initial CIS yield rates iPhone 15/15 Plus series, which resulted in a 1.5% drop in market share compared to the previous year. Apple’s annual production is expected to be similar to that of 2022.

Re-entry Huaweija with its flagship phones it had a significant impact on the high-end smartphone market in China, with Apple being the main target. Given that Huawei plans to expand its high-end flagship series in 2024 with a focus on the Chinese domestic market, the company is expected to compete directly with Apple.

This strategy, along with current geopolitical factors, positions Huawei as a serious competitor and is expected to significantly affect Apple’s manufacturing performance in the coming year.

Transsion surpassed Vivo in the third quarter to take fifth place globally

After completing channel inventory adjustments, Xiaomi (including Xiaomi, Redmi, and POCO) has moved to a more assertive stance in device manufacturing and stockpiling components as the year draws to a close. Manufactured by Xiaomi in the third quarter, it jumped by 22.3% to about 42.8 million units, boosted by the revival of the Indian market, thereby confirming itself as the third largest producer in the world.

Oppo (Oppo, Realme and OnePlus) experienced a 15.2% increase in production in the third quarter to 38.7 million units. This growth, fueled by increased sales in markets such as India and South America, is expected to maintain its momentum during the fourth quarter.

Transsion Company (TECNOInfinix and itel) continued its strong transition from the second to the third quarter, achieving a production result of 26.5 million units, an increase of 5.6% compared to the previous quarter.

This jump allowed Transsion to again overtake Vivo and secure fifth place globally. The brand is doing well in emerging markets and has been gradually increasing its market share since the second quarter. With the potential for an annual growth rate of over 40%, Transsion remains in close competition with Vivo for global ranking.

Vivo (Vivo and iQoo) saw production growth in the third quarter to 24.5 million units, an increase of 6.5% and placing it in sixth place. In the first half of 2023, Vivo adjusted its production plan, primarily due to the global economic slowdown.

The company maintained this strategy throughout the year, even as the Chinese market, one of its main regions, showed signs of recovery in the second half. Vivo’s goal was to ensure stable profits in a challenging environment.