Smartphone market showing 'early signals for recovery'
The smartphone market is sending signals of recovery after several consecutive quarters of decline since 2022, while the demand for high-end models with foldable screens, eyesight protection and photography innovations remains stable, industry officials said.
In the second quarter, global smartphone market sales declined 11 percent but the market reveals "early signals of recovery" as many Chinese brands' inventories return to healthier levels while macroeconomic conditions stabilize (after the pandemic), according to researcher Canalys.
Total market sales declined but the high-end market (above US$600 each) started generating growth in the second quarter, another researcher Counterpoint noted.
In the first half, China's smartphone sales reached 124 million units, a 7 percent drop from the same period in 2022, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.
Chinese smartphone brands, including Honor and Nubia, are tapping into high-end market opportunities with new products and innovation.
ZTE-owned Nubia released its Z50S Pro smartphone on Thursday, which features customized lens for portrait photography, super eye-protection screen and 1 TB memory, and is available from 4,099 yuan (US$570). The new Nubia models will start sales from next Thursday.
Honor launched sales of its latest foldable model Magic V2 on Thursday, with a starting price of 8,999 yuan. It features lightweight design, eye-protection and on-device artificial intelligence.
It aims to break the iPhone domination in the high-end market and allow consumers to enjoy foldable model experiences. (Apple doesn't have any foldable models yet). Eye protection is a new trendy innovation in China and worldwide, as people spend several hours a day or more on smartphone applications, Honor pointed out.
Up-and-coming Android players such as Honor are determined to act fast in product refreshment and indulge in strategic go-to-market tactics to win over market share, said Toby Zhu, Canalys analyst.
Bigger brands like Samsung and Apple, however, are facing sales and inventory pressures in the market since the second quarter, according to Canalys.