Global Smartphone Sales Plunge 20 Percent in Pandemic-Hit Quarter: Gartner

Yolanda Curtis
June 3, 2020

The latest industry report from Gartner stated that the global smartphone market saw a decline of 20.2% in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1) based on.

The plummet in sales, which is slightly higher than the 16% drop in business smartphone sales, can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent economic crisis, which has halted spending on non-essential technology such as additional smartphones.

The global decline was labelled by Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner, as the "worst decline ever" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Out of the five global top-selling smartphone vendors, four recorded a decline in the first quarter of 2020.

Almost all of those brands posted big sales declines compared with the same period in 2019, with the exception of Xiaomi, which actually rose slightly, based on the strength of its Redmi devices, which are popular in China.

Gupta pointed out that Samsung has a limited presence in China and that its manufacturing facilities are mostly located outside the country. Popular companies like Samsung, Apple, Oppo, and Huawei witnessed a heavy decline in smartphone sales growth in Q1 2020.

Meanwhile, Huawei took a 27.3 percent hit, while Samsung's sales were down by 22.7 percent.

"If Covid-19 would not have happened, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reached record level in the quarter".

According to the figures, Apple's 1Q20 market shared was 13.7%.

In short, the entire smartphone market suffered pretty badly last quarter, but Apple somehow managed to weather the storm better, even while it had most of its worldwide Apple Stores closed - first in China earlier in the quarter, and then throughout the rest of the world toward the end of it. However, the impact of the pandemic was less significant than for the other top vendors. Xiaomi was the only brand name to expand contrasted to in 2015, albeit by 1.4% YoY.

Apple had a solid beginning to the year many thanks to its brand-new line of product up that saw solid energy internationally. Disruptions in the supply chain and rising customer spending in February put a stop to the positive slope of trend.

More specifically, Gartner estimates that Apple sold 40.92 million smartphones during the quarter (almost half of which were iPhone 11 units), but that this represented a 3.7 million unit drop from the 44.57 million that it sold in Q1 2019. "To grow its sales and market share, it is paramount that Oppo strengthens its online channel", added Gartner.

Gartner released a table with more information on the matter.

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