Slower smartphone buying

In 2022 the number of smartphones shipped globally fell 11.3 % to 1.21 billion, according to IDC. That is the lowest number since 2013 (!).

The smartphone is a fantastic innovation, but it is now 15 years since the launch of the iPhone and the technology has been getting more mature for many years. Which, in addition to production issues and inflation, might explain lower shipments. Also, spend in smartphone app stores was down in 2022.

To me it feels unintuitive that smartphone usage would be declining. The drops in shipment and app store spend is probably driven by short-term issues rather than changes to the long-term trend, but it is worth following over the next 4-8 quarters and see if something actually is changing.

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