Samsung Takes Top Spot in Smartphone Market, Analyst Says

Samsung led the pack in global smartphone shipments for the third quarter, grabbing a 22% share of the market, analyst firm Canalys said on Tuesday. While the company led in overall sales, Apple grew its market position to 18%, a 3% increase from the third quarter in 2021. 

The economic environment has put a damper on consumer spending and, according to Canalys, it’s contributed to the third decline in the smartphone market in 2022 and a 9% drop year over year. Rather than purchase a new phone, many shoppers are shifting spending priorities. That’s led to, among other things, Apple reducing production on certain iPhone models

“For most vendors, the priority is to reduce the risk of inventory building up given deteriorating demand,” said Canalys analyst Amber Liu in a statement. “Vendors had significant stockpiles going into July, but sell-through gradually improved from September owing to aggressive discounting and promotions. The pricing strategy of new products is cautiously crafted, even for Apple, to avoid significant pushback from consumers who now tend to be very sensitive to any price hike.”

Samsung released a new lineup of smartphones in late August, including the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which starts at $1,800, and the Galaxy Z Flip 4, with a starting price of $1,000. In September, Samsung’s more budget-friendly Galaxy A23 5G hit the market for $300. Rival Apple launched its new iPhone 14 series in September, introducing the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Prices range from $800 to $1,100. 

Canalys says the holiday season may bring a slight uptick in sales if smartphone companies offer generous discounts and bundling options in the final quarter of the year. 

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