Research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics has released a report stating that global smartphone shipments dropped 38 percent year on year in February of 2020.
It was the biggest drop in smartphone sales in the history of the market. The staggering decline is blamed on the COVID-19 outbreak, which has seen countries around the world stop their economies to contain the spread of the virus.
“Global smartphone shipments tumbled a huge 38 percent 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,” said Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics. “Some Asian factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices.”
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said the dip wasn’t isolated to one region.
“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,” he said.
China is starting to slowly recover from the virus and is reopening stores, according to CNBC.
Steve Cochrane, chief Asia-Pacific economist at Moody’s Analytics, said that even though the infections are slowing, it’s going to take a while for things to return to normal.
“It seems that we’re beginning to be on the back side of this here in Asia, given that the number of infections is down. In China, the infections still remain fairly isolated in [the] Hubei province, that’s a very good thing,” he said. “But I don’t see the recovery in China really coming on any more faster than we might have expected.”