According to the latest report from the research firm Strategy Analytics, the smartphone market is struggling seriously in a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. The number of smartphone shipments for the month of February 2020 represents a sharp decline in the overall number of smartphones sold in February last year.
The report states that during the last month, global shipments reached 61.8 million units. That amount represents a 38 percent decline YoY. In comparison, February 2019 saw better numbers with 99.2 million units shipped. We all know that this is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 lockdown that forced many companies to close factories in China.
Manufacturing in China slowed to a halt in January which disrupted supply chains to many industries around the world. Giants like Apple and Xiaomi were greatly affected by the slow down. The former had to postpone the iPhone 9 launch which was planned for this month. Xiaomi also had to wait for its factories to resume operations in order to announce the international launch of the Mi 10 series. In addition to the factories lockdown, people were unable and unwilling to shop in physical stores. The Pandemic also affected the global economy, so customers aren’t really willing to spend on non-essential items and supplies.
“February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market. Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world…” – Neil Waston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics
Chinese operations are slowly returning to normal activities. However, Coronavirus has now spread to Europe, North America, and Latin America. As a result, hundreds of millions of consumers are in forced lockdown. They are unable and unwilling to shop for new devices.
The smartphone industry needs to work harder than ever to lift sales in the coming weeks. Brands will have to promote flash sales and offer generous discounts in order to have customers purchasing smartphones right now. With a Global recession nearing the shores, we believe that 2020 will be one of the hardest times for the smartphone industry.