It seems that overall Chinese smartphone makers have orders canceled for 170 million devices, equal to 20% of the total production originally planned for the whole of 2022. The well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo argues, generally specialized in forecasts on Apple, but which is worth listening to even in neighboring contexts. Difficult to make relations with the general trend of the smartphone market this year (after all, the indiscretion focuses only on Chinese manufacturers), but it is clear that it gives some thought.
There are several factors that can help explain this information. Meanwhile, as we have been reiterating for some time now, innovations in the sector are increasingly scarce, except for the segment of folding devices which is still rather niche. It is increasingly difficult to find concrete reasons to change smartphones once a year as suggested by the manufacturers’ presentation cycles: the improvements are there, mind you, but they are refinements in the general scheme of things. As a result, consumers are replacing smartphones more and more rarely: on average every 4 years even, in the case of the youngest.
Meanwhile, the chip crisis continues to rage – indeed, it is getting worse, in certain segments. According to recent surveys, waiting times for radio frequency transceivers are even between 6 and 9 months in the case of leading companies such as Skyworks and Qorvo. Finally, there is the problem of prices, which are always higher and definitely do not encourage frequent upgrades. Apparently Android smartphone makers would even ask chipmakers like Qualcomm and MediaTek for lower the prices of their SoCs to try to stimulate the market in some way but for the moment the answer has been no.
It will be necessary to understand over the next few months how the situation will evolve. 2022 has just begun, after all, and the sums can only be drawn at the beginning of the next year. It is hoped, among other things, that in the coming months the difficulties in supplying the chips will gradually reduce until it disappears, thanks to multiple investments by the main players to increase their production capacities.