As consumers in the West and China buy fewer smartphones, the slowdown is showing up in falling profits for handset makers, as well as sweeping job cuts across the once red-hot sector.
The reduction in headcount ranges from 1,300 staff at Panasonic, which is scaling back its mobile phone battery business, to 7,800 at Microsoft amid a restructuring its smartphone business. Blackberry did not disclose the size of its layoffs.
And experts say that the pain is not over for the big smartphone and phone-component makers, as all search for the next big area of growth.
"The smartphone landscape has led to breaking points," said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research. "There are two kinds of layoffs happening – one in the hardware space with traditional vendors such as Lenovo, Motorola – the other is the component space – with the likes of Qualcomm," he said.