Global smartphone shipments plunged an estimated 38% in February 2020, marking the largest-ever drop in the history of the worldwide smartphone market.
New data shared today by Strategy Analytics shows smartphone makers shipped an estimated 61.8 million units in February 2020, down from 99.2 million units in February 2019.
Asian smartphone demand plunged in February, leading to a significant collapse in sales as the lower Asian demand pulled down shipments across the world. Some Asian factories were shut down due to quarantines and travel restrictions, as well as customers that were unable or reluctant to leave their homes to go into stores to buy phones.
“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.”
Although China is showing signs of recovery, Strategy Analytics Senior Analyst Yiwen Wu says global smartphone shipments are expected to stay weak throughout March 2020 as numerous countries continue to struggle with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Despite tentative signs of recovery in China, 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. 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.”
Apple Stores continue to be closed in countries outside of greater China. Meanwhile, millions of consumers that might consider a new phone are in lockdown and are unable or unwilling to visit stores.
Apple has already announced that its March quarter revenue will not meet its previous guidance, though no one will know for sure how bad things are until the company’s April earnings call.