Global Smartphone Sales Plunge 20 Percent in Pandemic-Hit Quarter: Gartner

Joanna Estrada
June 3, 2020

The worldwide smartphone market shrunk by 20.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period a year ago, according to a new report from analyst firm Gartner. Demand for smartphones has also collapsed due to consumers reigning in spending on nonessential items.

"The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever", Gartner senior research analyst Anshul Gupta said in a prepared statement. According to the market watcher's latest industry overview, Samsung's mobile device sales over the initial three months of 2020 amounted to just over 55 million, down 16 million (22.7%) annually.

Shenzhen-headquartered Huawei recorded the worst performance among the top five global smartphone vendors.

Despite its sales falling almost 23 per cent annually in the first quarter, Samsung maintained the number one position with 18.5 per cent global market share.

With US restrictions in place, Gartner analysts predict a challenging 2020 for the firm. As you may recall, IDC pegged the figures as 275.8 million units and a drop of 11.7 percent year-over-year (YOY). "With the lack of popular Google apps and Google Play store, Huawei is unlikely to attract new smartphone buyers in global markets".

An employee of a smartphone shop wears a face mask under a protective face shield to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus at a market in Banda Aceh
Apple’s iPhones sales declined 8.2 per cent yearly totalling 41 million units in the first quarter of 2020. AFP

While Apple is not as dependent on China as Huawei, Oppo or Vivo are, it faced supply constraints and store closures which negatively impacted iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2020.

Following a similar IDC report, Gartner now says that smartphone sales fell by 20 percent in the first quarter thanks to COVID-19.

"Apple's ability to serve clients via its online stores and its production returning to near normal levels at the end of March helped recover some of the early positive momentum".

To our surprise, Xiaomi was the only one on the list to have seen a growth in its smartphone sale, but before we get all excited, we should note that it was 1.4%. Xiaomi managed to achieve strong results, Gartner says, with impressive Redmi sales in global markets and an "aggressive online channel".

The wider availability of affordable 5G phones was meant to cut the replacement period in 2020, but this is no longer the case.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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