Gartner became the latest analyst company to report the global smartphone market suffered its biggest-ever annual contraction during Q1, blaming the effects of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The company stated shipments dropped from 374.9 million units in Q1 2019 to 299.1 million, with lockdown measures and economic uncertainty leading to demand “collapsing” as consumers stopped spending on non-essential products.
Senior research analyst Anshul Gupta said the pandemic caused the “worst decline ever” in smartphone shipments, noting Chinese vendors and Apple were “severely impacted” by the closure of factories in China.
The company noted three of the top-five vendors suffered double-digit declines: Samsung topped the list with 55.3 million units shipped, but this was 22.7 per cent lower than Q1 2019; Huawei ranked second on 42.4 million units, down 27.3 per cent; while fifth-placed Oppo’s shipments dropped 19.1 per cent to 23.9 million.
Third-placed Apple’s shipments dropped 8.2 per cent to 40.9 million, while Xiaomi in fourth grew shipments 1.4 per cent to 27.8 million on the back of strong demand for sub-brand Redmi devices.
Gartner said Samsung suffered due to an “inefficient online channel” and retail closures.
It tipped Huawei to have a “challenging year” as it was “unlikely” to appeal to new buyers in international markets due to the lack of Google services, despite efforts developing its Huawei Mobile Service ecosystem.
Annette Zimmermann, research VP, said Apple initially enjoyed a strong start to the year due to “strong momentum” for a new product lineup, but the pandemic stymied what was shaping up to be a “record” period for the vendor.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back