Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:28

Global smartphone sales down by a fifth in 1Q2020: Gartner

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Global smartphone sales down by a fifth in 1Q2020: Gartner Pixabay

Smartphone sales to end users fell globally by 20.2% in the first quarter of 2020 year-on-year, the technology research firm Gartner says, attributing this decline to both the lockdown and the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi was the lone company in the top five to see a rise in sales, with the others - Samsung, Huawei, Apple and OPPO - all recording declines of varying magnitude.

“The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.

“Most of the leading Chinese manufacturers and Apple were severely impacted by the temporary closures of their factories in China and reduced consumer spending due to the global shelter-in-place.”

Samsung experienced a drop of 22.7% in sales year-on-year but still kept its top spot with 18.5% market share. Huawei recorded the worst performance among the top five vendors, with sales falling to 42.5 million units or 27.3%.

gartner 1q smartphone sales

Gupta said Huawei would have a challenging year. "“It has developed the Huawei Mobile Service ecosystem, but with the lack of popular Google apps and Google Play store, Huawei is unlikely to attract new smartphone buyers in international markets,” he added.

Apple also took a hit thought it is less dependent on China than Huawei, with sales down 8.2%.

“Apple had a strong start to the year thanks to its new product line up that saw strong momentum globally," said Annette Zimmermann, research vice-president at Gartner.

"If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reach record levels in the quarter.

"Supply chain disruptions and declining consumer spending put a halt to this positive trend in February.

“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.”


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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