The global smartphone sales declined to 96 million units in May, only the second time in the last 10 years that it fell below the 100-million mark, a new report showed on Thursday.
The last time global smartphone sales went below the 100 million mark was during the first Covid-wave in May 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.
Even after a "V" shaped recovery following the first COVID-19 wave in 2020, the smartphone market has still not reached the pre-pandemic levels.
The global smartphone sales declined 4 per cent (month-on-month) and 10 per cent (year-on-year) last month. This was the second consecutive month of MoM decline and the 11th consecutive month of YoY sales decline.
"Inflationary pressures are leading to pessimistic consumer sentiment around the globe with people postponing non-essential purchases, including smartphones. The strengthening US dollar is also hurting emerging economies," said Research Director Tarun Pathak.
A segment of consumers is likely to wait for seasonal promotions before purchasing to offset some of the cost pressures, he mentioned.
In 2022, the component shortages, although not fully resolved, have been stabilising.
However, the smartphone market is now hit by a demand slump due to multiple factors including inflation, China's slowdown and the Ukraine crisis.
"China's lockdowns and prolonged economic slowdown has been hurting domestic demand as well as undermining the global supply chain," said senior analyst Varun Mishra.
The low demand is also leading to inventory build-ups, declining shipments and order cuts from smartphone manufacturers.
The second quarter (Q2) is likely to be the most heavily impacted this year in terms of sales before the situation improves in H2 2022, the report noted.