Smartphone launches in the first quarter of 2022 will reportedly fall by almost 20 percent, as the omicron variant of covid-19, combined with the ongoing chipset crisis around the world, is hitting the smartphone industry hard. According to a report by The Economic Times, the impact of chip shortages, as well as the restrictions that are being reimposed due to the omicron variant of covid-19, can push back smartphone launches that were initially planned for January to March 2022 – to later in the coming year.
Pankaj Mohindroo, who heads the industry body Indian Cellular Electronics Association (ICEA), told ET in a conversation, “Stocks are running low and brands are not able to service the sector. The industry will find a way to work around the continuing component shortage, but launches in the coming quarter may get delayed.”
The report also cites analysts, who state that the total number of smartphone launches in the first quarter of the coming year may fall below 50 for the second time in three years. Faisal Kawoosa, CEO and founder of TechArc, told ET that the industry may see fewer than 45 total launches in the first three months of 2022. The latter will account for the lowest number of device launches in recent times, which typically averages around 60 launches every year during this quarter.
This may push the shipment numbers down during this quarter as well, as restrictions in terms of cross-border movements may further delay industry shipments – alongside navigating the shortage in component supplies. This, the industry notes, may account for a higher volume of shipments towards the later half of 2022, as smartphone launches may increase in frequency to account for missed opportunities in the early part of the year.
In 2020, the outbreak of covid-19 in China was the pivotal factor behind falling supplies around the world. With China being a major manufacturing hub for all electronics, its covid-19 impact spread quite quickly across industries, to the rest of the world. Going forward, it now remains to be seen how the omicron variant of covid-19 affects the way shipments fluctuate around the world.
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