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Smartphone shipments in S. Korea fell 13.2% on-year in Q2: report

Sept. 21, 2023 - 10:34 By Yonhap
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy smartphone displayed on the company's exhibition booth at the IFA trade show held in Berlin on Sept. 1-5. (Yonhap)

Smartphone shipments in South Korea declined more than 13 percent on-year in the second quarter, recent data showed Thursday, as demand remained sluggish over economic uncertainties.

The total shipment came to approximately 2.8 million units for the April-June period, down 13.2 percent from a year ago, as "demand for smartphones continued to slow down amid economic uncertainties," the Korea branch of International Data Corporation said.

But the shipments of premium smartphones, priced at $800 or above, such as Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Ultra series and iPhone Pro and Pro Max series, jumped 18.7 percent from a year ago, as demand for high-end phones remained strong. The premium category took up 57 percent of the total shipment.

The second quarter saw local foldable smartphone shipments went sharply down to 110,000 units. IDC Korea said that was due to the fact that Samsung reduced production ahead of the July launch of its new foldables -- Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5.

Samsung seeks to raise the portion of foldable phones to half of its total smartphone sales by 2025, making them another pillar of the company, alongside the Galaxy S flagship series, and a key category in the premium segment.

Global foldable phone shipments are expected to reach 21.4 million units this year, up more than 50 percent from a year ago, as consumers have started to embrace the new form factor, IDC said. By 2027, the figure could reach 48.1 million, it estimated, driven by "a healthy demand for this growing form factor."

Presenting a more conservative projection, another market research firm, TrendForce, said the figure could reach 18.3 million units by the end of this year, up 43 percent from a year ago.

Despite the rapid expansion, the foldable segment would take up only 1.6 percent of the global smartphone market.

TrendForce forecast the segment will grow 38 percent next year by shipping 25.2 million units worldwide, calling the expansion "inevitable" as the cost of production continues to plummet and Chinese brands take aggressive marketing tactics.

Samsung is leading the market, with an expected shipment of 12.5 million units this year, but Chinese companies, like Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi, have eaten away at Samsung's market share, which stood at 68 percent this year from 82 percent in 2022. (Yonhap)