Global smartphone shipment slowdown could hurt Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   January 29, 2023 | 07:43 pm PT
Global smartphone shipment slowdown could hurt Vietnam
People walk past an advertisement for Huawei's Honor smartphones at an airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China February 27, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Stringer
Manufacturing hubs like Vietnam and South Korea could be hurt this year as global smartphone shipments suffered its worst quarterly drop on record, signaling a cool down in consumer demand.

Shipments declined 18.3% year-on-year in the December quarter to a little over 300 million units, U.S.-based International Data Corporation said Thursday.

Xiaomi’s shipment volume declined steepest at 26.3%, followed by vivo (down 18.9%) and OPPO (down 15.9%).

For the year, global shipments fell 11.3% and marked the lowest total for a decade, the researchers said.

"We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower," Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, said in a press release as reported by Bloomberg.

Along with inflation and economic uncertainties, Covid lockdowns in China were another factor that hurt the industry, including sales of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, she said. "Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth."

Smartphones are among the largest exports for Korea and a key source of income for Vietnam as Samsung Electronics operates factories in both countries.

Samsung last quarter reported its biggest profit fall in over a decade, primarily led by a drop in demand for semiconductors. The company’s exposure to smartphone sales is amplified by its role as the leading provider of memory and displays for the industry.

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