Smartphone Shipments Are Forecast to Decline in 2023 Thanks to Inflation – CNET

A weaker economic outlook and ongoing inflation mean that global shipments of smartphones are expected to decline by 3.2% in 2023, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. That prediction is even worse than the last — it’s been revised downward from the 1.1% decline that was forecast in February.

Smartphone shipments now are expected to total 1.17 billion units for the year.

It’s not all bad news, however. Despite the lower forecast for 2023, IDC reports that it expects a smartphone market recovery in 2024, with 6% year-over-year growth. But consumer demand is recovering much slower than expected in all regions, the report noted.

“If 2022 was a year of excess inventory, 2023 is a year of caution,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “While everyone wants to have inventory ready to ride the wave of the inevitable recovery, no one wants to be stuck holding it too long. This also means the brands that take the risk — at the right time — can potentially reap great rewards of share gain.”

Read more: Best Phone to Buy for 2023

One particular type of phone is continuing to develop more choices: the futuristic-looking foldable phones.

“We continue to see more foldable designs in the market, which is a great technological step forward for the industry, but the timing is unfortunate,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC.

As CNET reported in our rating of the best foldable phones, the market for folding phones is dominated by Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4. But Google recently took the wraps off its first foldable, the Pixel Fold, Motorola has launched a refreshed version of its folding Razr flip phone and both Honor and Oppo offer folding models.

If you’re due to upgrade your phone this year, CNET also has lists of our picks for the best phones for 2023, best Android phone of 2023 and best phone under $500.