By Efe Udin
After the pandemic, there have been fluctuations in the global mobile phone market. The boom in demand for mobile phones, especially large-screen devices slowly declined the following year. While analysts expected the market to pick up again this year, that did not really happen. According to Counterpoint Research, sales of mobile phones in the global market in October hit 105.68 units. This is an 11% decrease from the same period in 2021. In China, the world’s largest mobile phone market, mobile phone sales in October were 20.42 million units. This is a 4% month-on-month decline and a 15% decline year-on-year. Analysts pointed out that most Chinese users will not buy a new mobile phone before November 11. With respect to brand and model, Apple and the iPhone 14 series are the only ones doing well.
Conversely, the US was the only country where mobile phone sales rose in October. Sales of mobile phones in the U.S. market increased by 14% year-on-year to 14.45 million units. This phenomenon can be attributed to the year-end shopping season promotions launched by telecom companies. The monthly sales of mobile phones in Europe have rebounded for two consecutive months. However, they have not been able to get rid of the negative growth trend since 2021. According to reports, mobile phone sales in Europe in October were 12.01 million units. This is a 20% drop from the same period in 2021.
Apple and iPhone 14 continue to sell well despite the general decline
Counterpoint also points out that Apple is the only major mobile phone vendor to achieve month-on-month sales growth in October. Especially in China, it has achieved the highest market share of 25%, thereby surpassing Samsung Electronics to take the No. 1 throne in the global mobile phone market. Apple’s iPhone 14 series sales hit 26.09 million units two months after its release. This figure is similar to that of the iPhone 13 series. Also, the sales of the high-end Pro series account for 18.14 million units, which is 70% of its total sales.
Analysts point out that Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro ranks first and second in global sales in October. Also, the high-end iPhone 14 series led the sales of flagship phones above $800, this is a new record high. While Samsung Electronics was overtaken by Apple, the sales of OPPO and Vivo also experienced four consecutive months of decline. Their shares fell to the lowest level since May 2020.
iPhone 14 production faces further bottlenecks after unrest at Foxconn factory
Apple’s decent performance in the mobile phone market is set to face a temporary setback due to the unfortunate incident at the Foxconn Zhengzhou factory. Mobile phone brands can not record good sales values if there is a breach in production. This is the current situation with Apple. The company will
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As the Reuters news agency reports, citing internal sources at the Foxconn Zhengzhou plant, the factor will be able to produce even fewer devices in November. It will be much lower than the numbers it had due to the mass riot of employees which took place a few weeks ago.
Street battles between employees and police
The reason, of course, is the riots that have erupted in recent days. With pressure from Apple, Foxconn had to recruit thousands of employees at the Zhengzhou factory. Most of these new employees got juicy offers that they could not reject. However, those offers were never realistic, Foxconn only used that to drag them in. Most of the employees did not get the promised wages or at least did not receive them on time.
20,000 employees are said to be gone again
In the meantime, around 20,000 staff are said to have taken advantage of this offer. The majority of the staff accepting the offer are the new recruit that replaced the previous employees that fled the factor. The wages are not the only issues that the new staff have with the factory. According to reports, the living condition in the factory is very bad. We can now understand why the previous employees fled. The new employees claim that due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions by the Chinese government, they have to eat their meals in the dorm which is not decent. Also, the new staff laments that Foxconn did not separate them from old employees thereby exposing them to the risk of contracting the virus.
Foxconn’s internal estimates say that more than 30 per cent of November’s production could be lost. The company will not hit its normal production capacity before the end of the month. This is a huge problem for Apple because the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou is the only location where the high-end iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models are produced. Apple announced a few weeks ago after the first incidents in Zhengzhou that the delivery times for the Pro models would be longer. At the moment, there is no other official comment from Apple regarding the issue. However, U.S. retailers are already saying that the Pro models of the iPhone 14 series will probably not be readily available during the Christmas season.