Global smartphone shipments dropped 38 percent to 61.8 million in the month of February, 2020 as compared with 99.2 million units in February, 2019.
It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
According to the latest forecast from the IDC, the worldwide smartphone market is expected to decline 2.3 percent in 2020 with shipment volume just over 1.3 billion in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Smartphone shipments will be declining 10.6 percent year over year in the first half of 2020. Global smartphone shipments are expected to return to growth in 2021 driven by accelerated 5G efforts, IDC said.
Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Some Asian phone factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices due to the Covid-19 outbreak.”
“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,” Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said.
“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,” Yiwen Wu, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said.
Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC, said: February and March are the time when manufacturers unveil key flagship products and conduct final pre-production tests and debug their products slated to be unveiled in the first half of the year.
“Changes made to product plans for the first half of the year will likely lead to adjustment of product plans,” Sangeetika Srivastava said.
Will Wong, research manager with IDC, said: “Smartphone buyers will purchase from online channels, which will account for a significantly increased share of phones sold in the first half of 2020 and may represent a permanent shift in buying behaviors.”