INTRO: Global smartphones sales declined 20.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, according to data from US-based research and advisory firm, Gartner. In a report published Monday.
The company said that the global lockdowns combined with the economic uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic led to a major decline in demand for smartphones around the world as consumers stopped spending on nonessential products during the first quarter.
Four out of the top-five smartphones vendors recorded a decline in sales during the Jan-Mar quarter, with the sole exception being Xiaomi. As per the report, the Chinese tech major recorded a slim 1.4 percent growth during the period, propelled largely by strong sales of its budget Redmi devices in international markets. The company’s “aggressive online channel focus” also enabled the company to achieve better-than-expected sales, the report said.
Samsung continued to lead the global market with an 18.5 percent market share, but its sales dropped 22.7 percent to 55.33 million units. Huawei, at number two, clocked sales of 42.49 million units, having seen its sales plummet 27.3 percent YoY. Apple, at number three, saw an 8.2 percent drop, selling 40.92 million iPhones during the quarter. Xiaomi came in number four with 27.81 million units, while Oppo rounded out the top-five with 23.94 million units, a drop of 24.2 percent.
According to Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner, “The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever. Most of the leading Chinese manufacturers and Apple were severely impacted by the temporary closures of their factories in China and reduced consumer spending due to the global shelter-in-place (orders)”.