According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments tumbled 38% year-on-year in the month of February 2020. It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market.
In February 2019, 99.2 million smartphones had been sold and a year later that number has dropped to 61.8 million units. The biggest reason for this decline is the COVID-19 global outbreak which not only slowed down production but also dampened consumer interest in mobile phones
Smartphone demand collapsed in Asia last month, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and this dragged down shipments across the world. Some Asian factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices.Linda Sui – Director at Strategy Analytics
This was the biggest decline EVER in the history of the global smartphone market and expectation is that demand will remain weak;
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
The first signs of the smartphone market being affected were foreshadowed when Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S20 was selling extremely poorly in its home market of South Korea.
Every year the Galaxy S-series of devices is one of the best selling devices but this year Samsung confirmed that the S20 series had sold under 71 000 units on the first day. For comparison’s sake, the Galaxy S10 sold 140 000 units on its first day in the South Korean market whilst the Galaxy Note 10 sold close to a quarter of a million units.
Considering the fact many a country will have its economy adversely affected by the Coronavirus, it will be a dark year for smartphone sales as individuals are losing jobs and those who still have their jobs will probably prioritise other goods over smartphones.