Analyst house IDC slashed worldwide smartphone sales projections for 2022 on global uncertainty, lockdowns and weaker demand, tipping a 3.5 per cent year-on-year fall in shipments to 1.31 billion units.

Its latest figures compare to a previously forecast 1.6 per cent growth in shipments on 2021 numbers.

The worsening outlook follows three consecutive quarters of declines and comes after manufacturers of various sizes have bemoaned supply and demand problems, including those caused by covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdowns in China.

IDC tips the market for recovery in 2023 on expectations current challenges facing the industry will ease. Assuming there no further problems it anticipates 5 per cent year-on-year growth in 2023.

The largest regional drops in 2022 are expected in Central and Eastern Europe (22 per cent down compared to 2021) and China (11.5 per cent).

IDC worldwide mobility and consumer device trackers research director Nabila Popal noted although the industry had already been hit by weaker demand, inflation, geo-political tension and supply constraints, the impact of the latest round of lockdowns in China was “far greater.”

“The lockdowns hit global demand and supply simultaneously by reducing demand in the largest market globally and tightening the bottleneck to an already challenged supply chain,” she added. “As a result, many OEMs cut back orders for this year, including Apple and Samsung.”