◎Our reporter Liu Yan

  In the industry expectation that the market will continue to be saturated and the willingness to consume will further decline. In 2022, the Chinese smartphone market will usher in a ten-year low in shipments and sales.

  According to the latest data from the Operation Monitoring and Coordination Bureau of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in 2022, among the main products of my country's electronic information manufacturing industry above designated size, the output of smartphones will be 1.17 billion units, a year-on-year decrease of 8%.

  According to data recently released by the Internet Data Center (IDC), China's smartphone shipments in 2022 will drop by 13.2% compared with 2021, falling to 286 million units, the first time in ten years that it will be below 300 million units.

In 2016, when it reached its peak, China's smartphone shipments were 470 million units, a year-on-year decrease of about 40%.

  Production, shipments, and sales all point to the downturn in the smartphone market.

Many factors lead to the downturn in the smartphone industry

  From the perspective of the global market, the five major manufacturers of Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo have collectively plummeted. The performance in the fourth quarter was particularly bad. Smartphone shipments fell by 18.3% year-on-year to 303 million units, the largest single-quarter decline in history.

  Some industry analysts pointed out that by the end of 2022, both Samsung and Apple's shipments will be hit hard.

Despite some signs of stabilization in the third quarter, Asia Pacific and Europe will see their worst market performance ever in the fourth quarter of 2022.

  "We have never seen such low shipments in the holiday season (smartphones)." said Popal, research director at IDC. Stimulate shipment growth."

  Consumers are not motivated enough to change phones, turning electronic fast-moving consumer goods into durable goods, and smartphones have entered a bottleneck in their development.

  "The impact of the epidemic on the mobile phone industry is only worse." Talking about the main reasons for the continuous decline of China's smartphone market, IDC China senior analyst Guo Tianxiang concluded that the market is saturated, the replacement cycle is lengthened, technological development encounters bottlenecks, and new product innovation is insufficient , The 5G promotion effect is lower than expected, the lack of new "killer" applications, the product quality is getting better and better, and various factors such as excess performance have superimposed, resulting in the current situation.

Folding screen mobile phone has outstanding performance

  According to IDC data, among national product brands in 2022, only Honor's shipments will increase by 34.4% year-on-year.

Canalys data also shows that Honor shipped 52.2 million units, an increase of 12 million units, and the market share gap with vivo, the number one shipment, is constantly narrowing.

  Unlike the bleak market conditions of traditional candy bar smartphones, the growth of folding screen phones in 2022 has exceeded expectations.

  According to IDC data, in the fourth quarter of 2022, China's single-season shipments of folding screen products hit a new high, with shipments exceeding 1.1 million units.

The annual shipment volume was nearly 3.3 million units, a year-on-year increase of 118%. The proportion of folding screen products in the domestic smartphone market has risen from 0.5% in 2021 to 1.2%.

  In 2022, Huawei will firmly occupy the No. 1 position in the domestic folding screen market, with a market share of 47.4%; Samsung will occupy a market share of 16.5%; with the stable performance of the Find N series throughout the year, OPPO will obtain a market share of 13.8%, ranking No. three.

  Although the current folding screen products on the market still have more or less shortcomings such as low refresh rate, fast power consumption, and software inability to adapt, they are still sought after by consumers. The market performance of folding screen mobile phones has exceeded expectations. As IDC analyst Zhang Qi said, in terms of innovation and differentiation, folding screen mobile phones will bring vitality and highlights to the market with more products, lower prices, and more intense competition.

Innovation is still the key competitiveness

  In 2023, the decline in China's smartphone sales is expected to narrow, but there will be no immediate rebound. It will take time for the market to recover, and the road to market recovery is still full of uncertainties.

  It takes a certain amount of time for mobile phones to go from component procurement to mass production of the whole machine.

At present, all mobile phone brands have completed their annual production plans, and have lowered their shipments in unison. It is estimated that global smartphone shipments in 2023 will be less than 1.2 billion units.

  "Make fewer mistakes, do more correct things, and operate steadily." These are several keywords repeatedly mentioned by Shen Wei, the founder of vivo, at the annual meeting earlier this year.

"It is foreseeable that the situation in the next three to five years will be more severe." Shen Wei said.

  Zhang Qi said that as China's smartphone market transforms into a mature market, it is expected that the market will still revolve around the two main lines of high-end and differentiation in 2023.

The profits of high-end smartphones are relatively high, and they are more in line with the main theme of China's overall consumption upgrade.

  Judging from the overall smartphone market performance in 2022, consumers are more willing to pay for "new products and new experiences". Product differentiation and innovation are still one of the most important competitiveness.

  Although it will take some time for the market to recover, the seedlings of growth have sprouted, and folding screen mobile phones will become a new breakthrough point and growth point for the mobile phone market this year.