Canalys research indicated early signs of a recovery in the smartphone market, forecasting a shipment decline of 5 per cent year-on-year to 1.13 billion units in 2023 compared with a 12 per cent drop in 2022.

In its global smartphone forecast, the company said the smaller decline was being fuelled by a return to growth in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America at 9 per cent, 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

The market is then expected to rebound fully in 2024, with shipments to reach 1.17 billion units, up 4 per cent.

Senior analyst Toby Zhu said the “smartphone industry is clearly emerging from its darkest days”, with consumers placing more value on their devices due to average selling price hitting $440 today compared with $332 in 2017, which he said was a peak year for the sector.

Sanyam Chaurasia, also senior analyst, said the smartphone rebound will be driven by upgrades in emerging markets as “devices remain integral to connectivity, entertainment and productivity”. 

Chaurasia also said one-in-three smartphones shipped in 2024 will be sold in Asia Pacific due to strong upgrade demand.

Canalys noted Chinese brands including Honor and Xiaomi “are expected to aggressively expand outside Greater China” thanks to improving business conditions.