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China-based smartphone vendors shipped a total of 150 million smartphones in fourth-quarter 2022, growing 6.6% from a quarter ago but plunging 21.4% from a year ago and the volumes are expected to continue to slide from a year ago in the first quarter of 2023.
The Chinese vendors had acted conservatively with their shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022 to prevent a further increase in their channel inventory levels since the domestic smartphone market was still sluggish while overseas markets were seriously undermined by rising inflation.
In terms of the top-3 China-based smartphone brands' shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022, Oppo suffered a small sequential decline while Xiaomi and Vivo both enjoyed growth. The three vendors together represented 63.1% of China-based brands' combined shipments, down from 65.4% in a quarter earlier.
Looking into first-quarter 2023, domestic demand in China will have difficulty recovering. On top of the slow season in markets abroad, smartphone shipments by China-based vendors will continue trending lower.