back to article Global smartphone sales come tumbling down as reality bites

The bad news juggernaut just keeps on rolling for devices maker, with global smartphone shipments for calendar Q3 falling to their lowest quarterly rate in eight years. According to preliminary data collated by Canalys, sales into the channel – retailers and distributors – plunged by 9 per cent year-on-year to an estimated 296 …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    About frakking time

    Nobody needs to change their phone every year, and no phone is exponentially better than last year's version.

    Eventually, I can accept changing every five years. Eventually.

    I had to buy a new smartphone in 2012, because job change. It was a Samsung A3.

    This year, all of a sudden it could no longer connect to my professional Gmail account, so I had to go and get a Samsung S22 (because no, I am not an Apple addict).

    So, 2012 - 2022. That is a proper duration for a smartphone.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: About frakking time

      Ditto that. I'll replace mine when it's broken. It's had a new battery installed which cost all of £30, but then it's not one of those iPhones which probably cost an arm, leg and your first born to have a new battery fitted.

    2. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: About frakking time

      Indeed, what do we actually _need_ our smartphone to do? I miss the IR blaster on my old Note, so I wish manufacturers would stop removing features and telling us it's progress. The whole flagship thing has become ridiculous, phones should be commodity items by now, and while I understand most markets have a luxury end, it's a phone, it's not an heirloom quality timepiece, or something with longevity. If people are looking at mobiles and being mesmerised by their features they are probably a bit thick, you know, influencer level of idiot.

      1. o5ky

        Re: About frakking time

        I miss the IR feature on the P20 Pro, that was great for turning on TV's where remotes had been lost. Same with OnePlus removing the notification profile slider from the side of their phones, that feature will be missed.

        1. GruntyMcPugh

          Re: About frakking time

          The IR blaster was great, I could control all the telly gadgets using 'Anymote', and I had an app called 'TVKill' which did exactly what it sounds like. It broadcast the 'off' signal for all known brands of TV. A few years ago I was in the local supermarket, and they had a TV set up because it was the World Cup (I hate football too) and were still playing music in the booze aisle where I was trying to select of bottle of wine, and and mash up was really annoying,... TVKill to the rescue.

      2. Kevin Johnston

        Re: About frakking time

        I had to replace my phone recently as it started having issues (I had been ignoring the gradual battery deterioration as it lasted long enough each day). Problem is I need a physical keyboard as I have fat fingers which hit at least 6 keys every time on a soft keyboard. I ended up getting a Unihertz Titan Slim at just under £300 (the phone it replaces was over £700) and you may want to check one out as it has your missing IR Blaster. I even set it up to use on our main TV just so I can annoy people when they are hogging the remote.

        1. GruntyMcPugh

          Re: About frakking time

          Ha, the Crackberry rises like a Phoenix!

      3. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: About frakking time

        Xiaomi (or at least until Note 8) still has it. And it's remote works great.

    3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: About frakking time

      Nobody needs to change their phone every year

      But... shiny!

      Idiots... I change mine when the battery won't hold charge. Hasn't happened yet with this cheapo Xioami.

    4. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: About frakking time

      > Nobody needs to change their phone every year

      It's mostly a Veblen good, a status symbol, the cheaper, portable version of a sports car. The outlandish prices show that quite well, as does the fact that so many will buy the most expensive phone they can('t) afford, just so they look more affluent and successful. It's like rappers' oversized (4-karat) gold chains and rings, you don't get respect without...

      As a result, people absolutely need to have the most shiny-shiny recent one, last year's phones are bargain-bin ware, it's like wearing thrift shop clothes... You wouldn't be caught dead using an old phone, your friends would unfriend you!

      1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: About frakking time

        > Nobody needs to change their phone every year

        mine gets changed when it is broken/getting unusable or lost

        and not before!

  2. Kev99 Silver badge

    Annual / semi-annual phone swapping is all about the marketeers play to the ego of people. We recently got a pair of Samsung S22Pro because my wife's old LG flipper was dying and my LG slab, inspected by Koo In-hwoi, was not grabbing signals as well. Plus T-Mobile had a hellacious deal for us old folks. The advantages to the new phones? 5G coverage. That's it. The Sammy is bigger than the LG, a big negative. The only reason I gave up my previous Nokia flipper for the LG is because where I worked in '14 they didn't have an email network so everyone used their slabs to text each other.

    The other reason, in my opinion, why apple, google, lg, sammy, etc bring out new kit is money, pure and simple. I fail to see why a phone costs upwards of $1,500 when you buy a tablet with 5G for under $200.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      I think very few people are switching annually anymore, the better they get the lesser the percentage difference in utility an upgrade can make, unless there's some major new feature added (like 5G, which was 'new' though we can argue how 'major') but those are pretty few and far between these days too.

      But with annual sales of 1.2 billion and over 5 billion mobile phone owners as of 2020, it is pretty clear that most people are upgrading rather slowly. A small segment may upgrade yearly but OEMs know that's not where their bread is buttered so they aren't expecting very much of their sales to come from people who own last year's phone, or even last last year's phone.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Setting priorities

    In order of use, this is what my (4 year old) Android phone does:

    1.) tells me the time. Including doing so automatlically when the clocks go back / forward

    2.) Messaging in all its forms

    3.) Web access, though using a phone for this is the last possible option

    4.) Photos

    5.) Maps and directions

    6.) Calendar / alarm

    7.) Shopping apps

    8.) Home automation - or remote control if you aren't pretentious

    9.) Bank access / bill paying

    10.) Watching videos

    11.) Contact list

    12.) Making or receiving phone calls

    13.) Weather forecast app

    14.) Calculator

    I do not believe there has been any functional improvement in smartphones for many years. Generally I only replace mine either when it runs out of puff (lack of memory), the version of Android becomes so old I cannot do stuff or if it breaks.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    funnel household spending on essential goods and services

    in plain English: food and electricity.

    1. Julz

      Re: funnel household spending on essential goods and services

      gas.

  5. DenTheMan

    Good enough

    The 9 year old LG G2 is still good enough to be used today. Knowing that disposable smartphones guaranteed future sales, only the G2 in its home market had a removable battery.

    Yet, ignoring power games, my only need is for a folding smartphone that can double up as a tablet.

    However, current pricing makes even this aspiration something for the future.

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