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SHANGHAI: China’s smartphone sales fell 13% year-on-year in 2022, the largest plunge for the sector in a decade as consumers spent cautiously, market research firm IDC said on Sunday.

The total number of devices shipped was 286 million, down from 329 million in 2022.

That meant total 2022 sales volume was the lowest since 2013 and the first time since then that annual sales have dropped below 300 million, IDC said in a report.

Android handset maker Vivo was the top-selling brand over the year, with a market share of 18.6%.

Its total shipments fell 25.1% year-on-year, however. Honor ranked as the second best-selling brand, with shipments growing more than 34%, albeit from a low base. Apple Inc was the third best-selling phone brand in 2022, tied with Oppo.

Apple’s overall sales fell 4.4% year-on-year, broadly outperforming the market downturn. In Q4, despite being the top-selling brand in the three-month period, year-on-year sales for iPhones were still down, as supply chain issues caused by worker unrest at manufacturer Foxconn’s plant in the city of Zhengzhou compounded worse-than expected demand, researchers wrote.

Strict COVID-19 controls in China, which ramped up in the spring of 2022 across several cities, weighed heavily on its economy which slumped to one of its worst levels in nearly half a century last year.

Negative growth of 66.73pc YoY: H1 mobile phones import stands at $362.862m

The plunge in smartphone sales in China reflected the sector’s performance globally.

In 2022, global smartphone shipments hit 1.2 billion, the lowest since 2013 and a year-on-year fall of more than 11%, according to IDC.

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