Samsung is reportedly scaling back the number of phones it’s planning on producing in 2022, from 310 million to 280 million, according to SamMobile, which cites a report from Korean outlet Maeil Business News. In absolute terms, that’s still quite a lot of phones, but it’s a relatively sharp decrease from the company’s original goal (and from the reported number of phones it and its partners produced last year). It seems that there may be a trend of manufacturers preparing for the economy to get worse before it gets better.
Reportedly, the lowered production targets will affect phones across its lineup, from low-end models to flagships. In a way, cutting the production of its less expensive phones sounds counter-intuitive — wouldn’t more people turn to those during an economic downturn? But it tracks when you consider that the alternative is just not buying a phone at all; people who are in the market for low-end phones might not want to buy a new one unless they absolutely have to, and those who have high-end phones would probably be better off just keeping them for an extra year or two.
Samsung isn’t alone in feeling the effects of a continuing pandemic, the Russia / Ukraine war (which has resulted in the company, along with many others, halting shipments to Russia), and ever-increasing inflation. Apple’s also reportedly expecting relatively stagnant sales this year, as it’s planning to produce around the same number of phones as it did in 2021, despite the fact that it’s likely working on some pretty big upgrades.