Global Smartphone Sales Break 27-Month Decline

By Patricia Miller


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Discover why global smartphone sales are on the rise after 27 months, impacting tech giants and creating investment opportunities.

Four smartphones in blue pink black and grey against blurry background.
Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

What You Need To Know

Global smartphone sales experienced a notable uptick in October, ending a 27-month streak of year-on-year declines, according to data from Counterpoint Research.

This surge was reportedly driven by a rebound in emerging markets, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, as well as Huawei's resurgence in China and the onset of the festive season in India.

Developed markets, where smartphone saturation is higher, displayed slower recovery rates. Huawei's rapid growth in China during Q3, propelled by the launch of its Mate 60 Pro smartphone, was a significant contributor.

Additionally, Apple's iPhone 15 series release in late September, slightly delayed from the previous year, had a positive impact on October's sales. Global smartphone sales have grappled with component shortages, inventory buildup, and extended replacement cycles, which persisted in a turbulent macroeconomic climate, leading to more than two years of consecutive year-on-year sales declines.

Despite these challenges, the market is poised for further growth in Q4 2023, setting the stage for a gradual recovery in the subsequent quarters, according to Counterpoint Research.

Why This Matters to Retail Investors

  1. Market Recovery: The shift from a prolonged decline to growth in global smartphone sales is a significant indicator of market recovery. Retail investors can view this as a positive sign for the technology sector, which has been grappling with supply chain disruptions and macroeconomic uncertainties.

  2. Emerging Markets: The growth in smartphone sales is primarily driven by emerging markets, showcasing their resilience and potential. Retail investors may consider exploring opportunities in companies with a strong presence in these regions, as they could benefit from increased consumer demand.

  3. Brand Performance: Understanding which smartphone brands are leading in sales is essential for retail investors. Samsung and Apple continue to dominate, but the resurgence of Huawei in China is noteworthy. This information can help investors make informed decisions about investing in these companies' stocks.

  4. Holiday Season Impact: The onset of the festive season in India and Apple's delayed iPhone launch in September both played a role in the October sales surge. Retail investors should keep an eye on holiday seasons and product releases, as they can significantly impact stock prices.

  5. Tech Sector Sentiment: The technology sector often sets the tone for overall market sentiment. A recovery in smartphone sales indicates potential strength in the tech sector, which can influence investment strategies for retail investors looking to diversify their portfolios or focus on specific industries.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

  1. Value Investing: Given the recovery in global smartphone sales, value investors might consider looking at established companies like Samsung and Apple, which have maintained market leadership. These companies could be considered value stocks, offering stability and potential dividends.

  2. Growth Stocks: Investors interested in growth might explore emerging smartphone brands that are gaining traction in markets like China and India. Companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, with double-digit market shares, represent potential growth opportunities.

  3. Supply Chain Plays: The smartphone industry's challenges with component shortages and longer replacement cycles have created opportunities in the supply chain. Investors can explore stocks of companies involved in semiconductor manufacturing, as their role is pivotal in addressing these issues.

  4. Holiday Season Momentum: Understanding the impact of holiday seasons on smartphone sales, investors can adopt a momentum strategy. This involves monitoring sales trends during festive periods and investing in companies poised to benefit from increased consumer demand.

  5. Global Tech ETFs: Investors seeking diversified exposure to the technology sector can consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track global technology indices. These ETFs can provide a balanced mix of established giants and up-and-coming firms in the smartphone and broader tech industry.

Read What Others Are Saying

CNBC (Global smartphone sales rebound in October after declining for more than 2 years: Counterpoint)

Reuters (Global smartphone market sees growth after over 2 years in October - Counterpoint)

What you should read next:

Investing with Insight

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In this article:

Cellular Phone Manufacturers
Consumer Discretionary

Author: Patricia Miller

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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