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Phone shipments and demand expected to decline

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The latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report predicted that shipments of smartphones in 2023 will see a slight decline instead of growing, as was previously forecast.| Maxx Studio/Shutterstock

After initially forecasting an increase in global smartphone shipments, the International Data Corporation now says it expects shipments to decline about 1.1% in 2023. 

The revised prediction comes after “a slower market recovery than previously expected,” an  International Data Corporation (IDC) press release noted

The trajectory of shipments of new devices is important for the reuse and recycling sectors because those numbers help show demand trends for used devices and recycling services.

According to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker forecast, shipments of smartphones in 2023 will see a slight decline, instead of growing by 2.8% as was previously forecast.

Market recovery is not expected until 2024, with IDC estimating 5.9% year-over-year growth in that year. That will be followed by low single-digit growth over the next few years, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate of 2.6%, the press release stated. 

Nabila Popal, research director with IDC, said increasing costs and lower consumer demand are making OEMs cautious about 2023. 

“While there is finally some good news coming out of China with the recent reopening, there is still a lot of uncertainty and lack of trust, which results in a cautious outlook,” Popal said. 

“However, we remain convinced the global market will return to growth in 2024 once we are past these short-term challenges,” Popal added, “as there is a significant pent up refresh cycle in developed markets as well as room for smartphone penetration in emerging markets to fuel stable long-term growth.”


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