The new study by Counterpoint Research on global smartphone shipments shows a substantial fall in smartphone sales in the first quarter of this year. Global smartphone sales dropped below 300 million after a 13 percent fall, which is a number not recorded since 2014.
The COVID-19 pandemic seriously affected the industry showed signs of recovery in Q4 2019. The fall was largely caused by a 27 percent drop in exports in China, the original epicenter of the outbreak. The disruption also affected the handset supply side and its components which ultimately resulted in a global decline.
Counterpoint is of the opinion that this could lead OEMs to diversify its supply chain across regions. For regions such as India and Vietnam, that could be extremely fruitful.
Nearly all firms with the exception of three – Xiaomi, Realme, and Tecno – experienced a major decline in Q1 2020. In reality, when compared to last year, Xiaomi and Realme ended up improving their shipments and Tecno suffered only a slight loss.
The overall photo, however, remains the same with Samsung leading the charge followed respectively by Huawei and Apple taking second and third place. Xiaomi and Oppo remain among the top 5 on the chart, followed by several other Chinese labels.
Counterpoint says the consequences of the pandemic will intensify in Q2 2020. Some businesses will suffer more than others, with the exception of Chinese OEMs as the area has started to recover from the epidemic so Huawei and Oppo’s likes will see less of an impact in the coming quarter.
On the other hand, Samsung will need more time to recover as all of the Korean phone maker’s major markets are in lockdown.