Global smartphone shipments falls 38% in February

Global smartphone shipments witnessed a steep decline of 38 per cent Year on Year (YoY) in February 2020 in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

It has been the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market.

According to Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, "global smartphone shipments tumbled a huge 38 per cent annually from 99.2 million units in the month of February, 2019, to 61.8 million in February, 2020."

"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," Sui said in a statement.

A large chunk of of smartphone production happens in China and with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, manufacturing in the country slowed to a halt in January which disrupted supply chains to many industries around the world, not limited to consumer electronics.

"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," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

The market research firm noted that despite tentative signs of recovery in China, it expects 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," added Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.             - IANS