Global Smartphone Sales Dropped in Q1, Including iPhones


  • The global smartphone market declined 14.6% in Q1 2023.
  • Apple was least affected, with iPhone shipments only dropping 2.3% year-over-year.
  • Samsung maintained its market lead, but its sales shrunk by 18.9%.

Global smartphone shipments during the first quarter of the year dropped a whopping 14.6% year-over-year, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC)‘s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Total worldwide smartphone shipments plunged from 314.5 million units during Q1 2022 to 268.6 in Q1 2023, with mid-range and low-end smartphone sales suffering the most. Q1 extends the trend we saw across the whole of 2022, which proved to be the worst year for the global smartphone industry since 2013.

Apple was least affected by the decline, with iPhone shipments only dropping 2.3% from 56.5 million units during Q1 2022 to 55.5 million units between January and March 2023. The company commanded 20.5% of the smartphone market in the quarter. Q1 wasn’t as kind to Apple’s Mac sales, however, as shipments reportedly dropped a massive 40% during the quarter.

Samsung maintained its global lead, with a 22.5% market share. However, the company’s shipments fell a whopping 18.9% compared to the same period last year. The South Korean electronics giant saw the second-highest dip in sales of any manufacturer.

Image: International Data Corporation (IDC)

Almost every region suffered a double-digit decline in smartphone shipments during Q1. India, for example, saw a record drop in quarterly smartphone sales, while the Chinese market slipped almost 12%.

“The industry is going through a period of inventory clearing and adjustment. Market players remain cautious deploying a conservative approach rather than dumping more stock into channel to chase temporary gains in share. I think is the smart thing to do if we want to avoid an unhealthy situation like 2022,” said Nabila Popal, a research director on IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team.

“While we are optimistic about recovery by the end of the year, we still have a tough 3-6 months ahead.”

Smartphone manufacturers expect sales to pick back up in the coming months, regaining traction towards the end of the year. IDC, meanwhile, foresees the market crossing back into positive territory towards Q3 and seeing healthy double-digit growth by the holiday quarter.

“On a positive note, based on recent discussions we’ve had with OEMs and supply chain it appears the smartphone industry is collectively gaining confidence that we’ll see return to growth late this year, and into 2024,” said Ryan Reith, Group VP of IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team.