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Ukraine war, chip shortage, weak global economy all point to a 3% drop in phone shipments by 2022

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The bean counters of analytical firm Counterpoint Research have looked at the numbers, examined the trends and concluded that the total number of smartphone units shipped worldwide by 2022 will reach 1.36 billion units this year. That would represent a 3% drop from the number of smartphones shipped last year.

The main reasons for the drop in projected smartphone shipments this year are the weaker global economy, led by a recession, helped by the return of COVID in China, and the uncertainty surrounding the Russia-Ukraine battle. If there’s one thing the global markets hate it’s uncertainty and right now no one can make a prediction that includes a likely scenario of how the war will end.
We should also not forget the global chip shortage, which makes it difficult for some manufacturers to get the amount of chipsets that are desperately needed to build some popular smartphone models. Ironically, older chips are the ones that phone manufacturers have a hard time finding.

Pete Richardson, vice president of Counterpoint Research, said the long-term consumer migration from feature phones to smartphones continues, while the public is still in the early stages of the 3G/4G to 5G transformation. Low-priced and mid-priced 5G handsets are expected to help fuel the overall global demand for smartphones. With carriers promoting 5G plans and handsets, many consumers are buying their first 5G phones, even if they usually connect to low-band 5G signals that don’t deliver much faster download data than those on 4G LTE networks.

Counterpoint Network senior analyst Liz Lee may be a little optimistic for the second half of the year. She says: “However, the prospects for a recovery of the smartphone market in the second half still stand. At the end of May, the Chinese government convened a meeting for large-scale countermeasures for economic stability. The economy in the second half. In addition, we believe that the launch of new foldable smartphones, led by Samsung, will be able to boost demand in the premium segment.”

Liz is calling for a rebound in China’s second half and good demand for foldable devices to jump-start the global smartphone market in the second half of the year.

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