The big picture: The global smartphone market shrank for the third consecutive quarter during the three-month period ending September 30, resulting in the worst third quarter since 2014. In its preliminary smartphone market report for Q3, Canalys said the overall market dipped nine percent year-on-year thanks in part to an uncertain economic environment in which consumers are delaying purchases of electronics and prioritizing spending on other essentials.

A look at the five leading vendors reveals Samsung held its position atop the heap with a 22 percent market share which Canalys credited to heavy promotions to reduce channel inventory. Apple finished second with an 18 percent slice of the pie followed by Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo with 14 percent, 10 percent and nine percent shares, respectively.

Canalys analyst Amber Liu noted the market is highly reactive to consumer demand and vendors are quickly adjusting to account for the harsh business environment. For most vendors, the goal is to reduce inventory buildup through aggressive promotions and discounts.

Consumers are sensitive to price hikes, so vendors have to craft their pricing strategies carefully to avoid significant pushback.

Things aren't likely to change anytime soon, either. Canalys analyst Sanyam Chaurasia said demand is showing no signs of improving and as we head into the holiday buying season, consumers that have been delaying purchases are going to expect significant price cuts on new products and even deeper discounts on older generation devices.

Even if sales during the holidays are robust, it'll be too soon to know if they represent a true turning point of market recovery.

Where does your smartphone strategy stand heading into the end of the year? Are you looking to take advantage of pending holiday discounts to score a deal on a new handset or are you content to keep using your existing phone into 2023? My six-year-old phone is still alive and kicking, but the maximum battery capacity is down to just 77 percent and the low storage capacity is starting to become a serious concern.

Image credit: Daniel Romero