What's going on?
Smartphone sales rose to the occasion, after staying on snooze for the last two years.
What does this mean?
The smartphone market has been fairly flat for the last two years, potentially because folk are happy with their already advanced gadgets or have flocked to old-school Nokia bricks to unplug a little. But it looks like snazzy new Apple and Huawei models have made an impression: smartphone sales were 5% higher this October than last, according to research firm Counterpoint. Mind you, that could just be some forward-thinking holiday shoppers, so don’t count on those sort of numbers sticking around for long.
Why should I care?
For markets: Apple has a loyal fanbase.
iPhone shipments have barely budged for the past seven years, so any major changes in the segment’s revenue will be down to the gizmos’ ever-increasing prices. Investors seem happy enough with that, though, banking on more price hikes – and ideally cost cuts – to upgrade Apple’s smartphone profitability. And anyway, Apple has its services division and other products like Vision Pro to keep investors entertained.
Zooming out: Let’s help each other out.
The semiconductor industry has been lying low recently too, besides Nvidia, of course. Chipmakers ramped up their factory production to get through the supply chain bottlenecks that built up during the pandemic, but now that demand’s dried up, there’s a glut of unsold chips lying around. But if this turnaround in the smartphone industry holds up, there could be a revived appetite for chipmakers’ wares.