The Smartphone Industry Exodus: Nearly 500 Brands Exit Since 2017

In recent years, the smartphone market has seen several prominent Android manufacturers exit the industry, such as BlackBerry and LG. However, a recent report from Counterpoint Research has unveiled a staggering trend: nearly 500 smartphone brands exit the market since 2017.

According to Counterpoint Research, in 2023, there were approximately 250 active smartphone brands, a significant drop from the over 700 brands present in 2017. Regrettably, this decline has been predominantly driven by the exit of local brands, while the number of global brands has consistently remained above 30.

The Smartphone Industry Exodus: Nearly 500 Brands Exit Since 2017

The report specifically highlights the closure of brands in various regions, including India (Micromax, Intex, Karbonn), the Middle East and Africa (Injoo and Xtouch), China (Meizu, Meitu, Gionee, and Coolpad), Japan (Kyocera and NEC), and Korea (LG).

It is important to note that some of the listed brands had a global presence (e.g., LG, Kyocera). Whereas some large companies acquired others (e.g., Meizu and Meitu). Nevertheless, it is evident that smaller firms bore the brunt of these closures.

Counterpoint Research identified several challenges leading to these brand closures. These challenges encompassed a maturing user base, extended smartphone replacement cycles, a growing refurbished device market, supply chain disruptions, economic obstacles (including the impact of the pandemic), technological transitions (e.g., the shift from 4G to 5G), and the formidable scale of major smartphone manufacturers.

The research firm anticipates a further reduction in the number of active smartphone brands. However, it holds out hope for smaller manufacturers that focus on specific niches and are capable of selling devices at a premium price point. Examples cited include Fairphone, Doro, and Sonim, suggesting that these niche-oriented brands may find a path to survival in a rapidly evolving industry.

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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