Smartphones Suffer From The Biggest Drop in Shipments in History
Smartphone shipments have taken a huge fall this quarter because of COVID-19. As per Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments went down by 38 percent, year-over-year, in February 2020, making it the biggest drop in shipments in history.
In the report shared by Strategy Analytics, Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics reports that smartphone shipments have gone down from 99.2 million units in February 2019 to 61.8 million units in February 2020. This downfall is primarily due to the disruption in manufacturing starting in China. Even though China is doing better than before and it is reported that manufacturers have resumed work again, other parts of the world are now severely impacted by COVID-19, which means that global supply chains will not recover anytime soon.
As per Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics:
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. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.
The report further goes on to say that despite recovery in China, shipments will remain weak in March 2020. With retail store closures by Apple and Samsung, and shuttering down of public places like shopping malls, the road to recovery seems slow and painful.
Yiwen Wu, senior analyst from Strategy Analytics shares similar thoughts in the report.
Despite tentative signs of recovery in China, we expect global smartphone shipments overall to remain weak throughout March, 2020. The coronavirus scare has spread to Europe, North America and elsewhere, and hundreds of millions of affluent consumers are in lockdown, unable or unwilling to shop for new devices. The smartphone industry will have to work harder than ever to lift sales in the coming weeks, such as online flash sales or generous discounts on bundling with hot products like smartwatches.
Apple had already announced that it will miss its earnings guidance in Q2 because of coronavirus, and it will not be the only company to do so. Although Apple's iPhone production is expected to improve in Q2 2020, the situation around the world is still uncertain because of coronavirus and it might be some time before things begin to return to "normal".