Mobiles & Tablets

Smartphone market suffers “the worst decline ever” in Q1 2020 due to Covid-19

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 01, 2020 Published on May 01, 2020

The smartphone market witnessed its largest year-over-year decline in Quarter 1 of 2020 with smartphone shipments across the globe, taking a hit owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone makers shipped 275.8 million devices in Q1 2020, an 11.7 per cent drop from the same period last year.

Canalys’ however, pegged the worldwide decrease in shipments in Q1 at 13 per cent from last year.

Strategy Analytics released a similar report stating that South Korean electronics giant Samsung despite the global decline was remaining steady in the market at over 21 per cent market share remaining the world’s top smartphone brand.

Shipments had taken the worst hit in China, the original epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While shipments in the United States and Western Europ declined by 16.1 per cent and 18.3 per cent respectively.

“The drop comes as no surprise as 1Q20 marked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the peak of the lockdowns in China, which extended to the rest of the world by the end of the quarter. The largest regional decline in 1Q20 was in China, which saw shipments drop 20.3% year over year,” said the IDC report.

According to a report by Counterpoint research, this is the first time that the smartphone market in China has fallen below 300 million units in a quarter since Q1 2014.

Samsung held its top position in the China market as well despite the drop followed by Huawei and Apple.

The situation was different in India. According to the Canalys report, Samsung was overtaken by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo in India in terms of shipment in Q1 2020.

Vivo’s sales of the smartphone to vendors had doubled as compared to its sales during the same period last year. The company’s sales amounted to 6.7 million units, accounting for one in every five smartphones sold in India.

Xiaomi held a 31 per cent market share in India selling 10.3 million phones in the first quarter of 2020 while Samsung’s shipments fell to 6.3 per cent with a 14 per cent decline.

The smartphone market will witness a further negative impact owing to global shutdowns. In India, the market will decline further due to delay in shipments according to experts as a smartphone has been categorized as non-essential items during the lockdown.

Published on May 01, 2020
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