Global smartphone production in Q1 22 down 12.8% q-o-q due to amplified non-seasonal impact, TrendForce says

Taipei, Taiwan, June 01, 2022– (work wire)–according to TrendForceThe multiplier effect of traditional off-season activity dampened the smartphone production performance in Q122 as global production only reached 310 million units, a 12.8% decline qoq. Compared to the same period last year, the strategic planning adopted by smartphone brands in response to Huawei’s collapse in market share is completely different, with an annual production decline of 10.1%. Looking back at Q2 22, in the face of rising inflation intensified by the Russo-Ukrainian war and the direct impact of the Chinese shutdowns, consumption momentum continues to weaken. According to the current TrendForce notes, global smartphone production in Q2 22 is expected to be approximately 309 million units, which is roughly equivalent to Q1 22, but the possibility of further downgrades later in this quarter cannot be ruled out.

The world’s top five brands capture 78% of the market in the first quarter of 22, and Samsung regains the first place

By taking advantage of the facilitation of supply of 4G low-end processor chips and the launch of the new Galaxy S22, Samsung’s production volume in the first quarter of the year 22 increased to 73.8 million units, ranking first in the world. Given the developments in Q222, with Samsung’s central production sites located in Vietnam and India and its market share in China of only 1%, it is unaffected by the disruption in the supply chain and domestic demand caused by China’s dynamic COVID-free policy. However, the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war worsens in the second quarter of 2022. Samsung was originally the leading smartphone brand in Russia but joined the sanctions against the country in March of this year and suspended product shipments altogether. Besides higher inflation, Samsung’s production performance will weaken in Q222 and is expected to decline compared to Q122.

The iPhone 13 series continued to sell well, and the new SE3 helped Apple’s production volume reach 60 million units in the first quarter of 22, achieving an excellent performance compared to the same period last year, with an annual growth of 11.1%, mainly due to the dismantling of Huawei’s previous high. Termination of model orders while compensating for losses incurred from the suspension of mobile phone sales in Russia in response to the Russo-Ukrainian War. The Chinese shutdowns negatively impacted the performance of foundries and supply chain operations. Fortunately, Apple was in a transition period between new and old models during the second quarter of ’22, and since the second quarter typically records the lowest production performance of the year, any side effect has been relatively limited.

It is worth noting that the iPhone 14 series that Apple will launch in the 2H22 watch will include four new models. In particular and unlike previous offerings, only the latest processors are used in the Pro series. In addition to taking into account the final pricing strategy, this can also highlight differences in the market situation. As rising inflation changes consumer behaviour, this type of product situation is expected to attract more buyers.

The Chinese smartphone market has begun to show clear signs of weakness since 2H21, which has led to more cautious quarterly production planning from Xiaomi (including Redmi, POCO and Black Shark), OPPO (including Realme and OnePlus), and Vivo (including that iQoo), with 1Q22 production volumes reached 44.5 million, 40.5 million, and 23.5 million units, respectively. Due to the significant overlap between positioning and product planning of these three brands in the sales market, factors such as the delayed delivery of 4G low-level processor chips at the beginning of the quarter and the slowdown in sales in the Chinese market will directly affect production performance. OPPO and Vivo showed a more significant quarterly decline due to their large market share in China. At the same time, Honor’s rapid rise, along with its strategy to focus on the Chinese market as its primary sales base, will also threaten Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, which are also focused on the domestic demand market in China. TrendForce has also noticed the rapid rise in Honor’s market share and expects its market share in China to exceed that of Xiaomi and close to OPPO and Vivo in 2022.

5G mobile phones are growing steadily with the market share reaching 50% in 2022

According to TrendForce, looking at the performance in 2022 as a whole, the first half of 22 was mainly affected by the shutdown of China and the Russo-Ukrainian war, and the second half of the year by the inflation crisis, the annual production volume was about 1.333 billion units. However, if China continues its dynamic COVID-free policy in Q322, combined with the second hit of inflation and power shortages, the global smartphone market may face further downward revision. Despite the constant adjustment of production targets, 5G mobile phones continue to grow steadily. Since its launch in 2019, 5G mobile phones have benefited from the Chinese government’s tireless promotion of commercial transformation. In 2021, the share of 5G in the global market reached 38%. The subsequent growth momentum of 5G mobile phones will be driven by markets outside of China. With the steady increase in global 5G base station coverage, the global market share of 5G mobile phones is expected to reach 50% in 2022, or approximately 661 million units, of which Apple has the lion’s share.

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TrendForce is a global provider of the latest developments, insights and analysis to the technology industry. Having served companies for more than a decade, the company has built a strong membership base of 500,000 subscribers. TrendForce has built a reputation as an organization that provides insightful and rigorous analysis of the technology industry through five major research divisions: Semiconductor Research, Display Research, Optoelectronics Research, Green Energy Research, and ICT Applications Research. Founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 2000, TrendForce has expanded its presence in China since 2004 with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing.

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