Everyone who wants a smartphone for Chrimbo will get one, but in the real world things are somewhat different

Global handset market slips in Q3 on sliding chipset availability, says Canalys

Crippling component shortages caused smartphone shipments to dip in calendar Q3, though it was the also-rans, vendors outside of the top five biggest brands with the lowest economies of scale, that suffered most.

Preliminary results from Canalys show the market declined 6 per cent year-on-year. The analyst was not yet ready to make public the absolute shipment figures but a year ago sales into the channel were 348 million, so they look 20.9 million units lighter.

"The chipset famine has truly arrived," said Ben Stanton, principal analyst. "On the supply side, chipset manufacturers are increasing prices to disincentivize over-ordering, in an attempt to close the gap between supply and demand. But despite this, shortages will last until well into 2022."

Rising costs of global freight are adding to the chipset shortfall, and "smartphone brands have reluctantly pushed up device retail pricing."

Leader of the pack Samsung's total share of the spoils was unchanged at 23 per cent, which indicates its sales to retailers and distributors declined at around the market average.

Apple snuck into second place with 15 per cent market share, up from 12 per cent a year ago. This was "thanks to strong early demand for iPhone 13," said Canalys. The Reg reported this week that Apple's supply chain may make 10 million fewer-than-forecast iPhone 13 models this year due to chip supplies.

Xiaomi, pushed into third place, retained market share of 14 per cent, while fellow Chinese handset brands Vivo and OPPO took their share to 10 per cent each from the 9 per cent they both held in Q3 2020.

The smartphone brands outside of the top five biggest sellers tend to suffer more when macro economic trends - such as shortages - emerge, Stanton told us, largely because they don't have the same purchasing muscle.

He said at a local level vendors are being forced to "implement last-minute changes in device specification and order quantities," saying it was vital they do this to "maximise volume capacity."

However, "unfortunately it does lead to confusion and inefficiency when communicating with retail and distributor channels," he added. "Many channels are nervous heading into important sales holidays."

"Channel inventories of smartphones are already running low, and as more customers start to anticipate these sales cycles, the impending wave of demand will be impossible to fulfil,” Stanton said.

TSMC said yesterday it expects chip supplies to be low throughout 2022 and is concerned that overproduction could cause prices to tumble in an industry correction.

Oh the joys of forecasting. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has departed the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading
  • Canadian charged with running ransomware attack on US state of Alaska

    Cross-border op nabbed our man, boast cops and prosecutors

    A Canadian man is accused of masterminding ransomware attacks that caused "damage" to systems belonging to the US state of Alaska.

    A federal indictment against Matthew Philbert, 31, of Ottawa, was unsealed yesterday, and he was also concurrently charged by the Canadian authorities with a number of other criminal offences at the same time. US prosecutors [PDF] claimed he carried out "cyber related offences" – including a specific 2018 attack on a computer in Alaska.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Philbert was charged after a 23 month investigation "that also involved the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police, federal enforcers], the FBI and Europol."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021