After several quarters in decline, the smartphone market is showing signs of recovery with the latest Kantar research announcement showing a modest, but promising increase for Q3 2022. 

The latest figures from Kantar covering the three months leading up to the end of September 2022, the data in the latest release is showing an increase of 1%  in smartphone sales, up over the same time last year. A small increase to be sure, but a positive step in the right direction for smartphone makers. 

In the Australian market, the figures show a strong increase for iOS with sales of iPhone 13 up on the back of strong promotions in the lead up to the launch of the iPhone 14. iOS is up overall Year over Year, with market share up from 40.8% this time last year, to 46.8%. The figures from Kantar indicate that Apple retained their market, with a good deal of customers, 40% in fact, updating from an iPhone 8 or older Apple device, showing that it is indeed time for older handset owners to upgrade their ageing handsets. 

Market share 3m/e September 2022 – Australia

Android figures are down, with Kantar noting a decline in market share in the Australian market for the same period, with market share down to 53.2% from 59.2% in the same period last year. 

In the Android space, Samsung has shown strong sales on their A Series devices, particularly with the Galaxy A53, as well with stronger sales on their premium foldable range with the Galaxy Z Fold4 gaining the strongest share, even over the Galaxy Z Flip4, with promotions including bundled Galaxy Watch5 watches and trade-in deals influencing customers to check out the latest folding phones. 

The pre-order deals and bonuses are something that are needed by manufacturers as noted by 

Jack Hamlin, Global Consumer Insight Director at Kantar’s Worldpanel ComTech who said of the latest figures 

As we near the end of 2022, smartphone manufacturers must come up with the answer of how to navigate inflationary pressures and more price sensitive consumers. Enhanced trade-in values, wider budget device ranges, absorbing additional operating costs, enhanced distribution channels and scaled product development are just some of the levers that can be pulled.

As a surprise, Google has increased their market share, up 3% Year over Year with the mid-range Pixel 6a bolstering sales after launch, as well as seeing strong sales for the Pixel 6 ahead of the launch of the Pixel 7 series. OPPO and Nokia both saw market share decreases, with Nokia dropping to eighth place in the market from fourth place in the same period last year with sales of just under 1%.

Top Handsets by market for 3m/e September 2022

Globally it appears that smartphone sales are still fairly modest in relation to pre-pandemic sales, though compared to the same period as last year, the US, Mainland China, Australia, Japan and the European 5 (consisting of France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Great Britain) saw some modest growth, though Japan and Great Britain are seeing drops in smartphone ownership growth. 

It’s a tough time all round, and we’ll begin seeing more efforts next year with the launch early in the year of the next Samsung Galaxy S series devices expected in early January. So we’ll have to wait and see what happens around then.