BEIJING, China: As COVID-19 restrictions and a slowing economy curbed consumer demand in 2022, China's smartphone sales witnessed a record decline of 13 percent, the lowest level in a decade.
In a report, research firm IDC said that the total number of devices shipped was 286 million, down from 329 million in 2022, the lowest figure since 2013 and the first period when annual sales dropped below 300 million.
"The strict pandemic control policy has resulted in historically high household savings, as consumer spending became conservative," said Lucas Zhong of research firm Canalys, as quoted by Reuters.
According to IDC, Android handset maker Vivo was the top-selling brand in 2022, with a market share of 18.6 percent, but in 2022 its total shipments were down 25.1 percent year-on-year.
IDC said that Apple's overall sales fell 4.4 percent year-on-year, while all other rivals, except Huawei's Honor, witnessed double digit falling sales.
According to a separate report from Canalys published this week, in the fourth quarter of 2022 Apple sold 16.4 million phones, down 24 percent year-on-year, the first time the company's shipments dropped year-on-year in China since early 2020 during the first wave of COVID-19.
The decline was caused by an earlier release of the latest iPhone series, along with workers' unrest at its major manufacturer, Foxconn's plant in the city of Zhengzhou, Canalys said.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi and Honor saw sales declines of 37.3 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, during the same period.
Apple remains the top-selling phone maker in China, holding a record-high market share, Canalys added.