Global smartphone sales declined 20 per cent year-on-year in Q2 largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on major markets, Gartner stated.

Gartner placed total sales to end users at 295 million units, down from 370 million in Q2 2019, with almost all major markets facing restrictions which impacted demand in the recent period.

“Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on non-essential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year,” senior research director Anshul Gupta said.

Gartner noted an improved pandemic situation in China led to a recovery of sorts, but sales in the country still declined 7 per cent to 94 million.

India, which Gartner noted adopted rigorous lockdowns including restricting e-commerce channels, experienced the greatest decline of the world’s top-five markets, with sales down 46 per cent

Huawei catches up
Gartner said Samsung and Huawei were now virtually neck and neck, with the South Korean vendor selling 54.7 million smartphones and Huawei 54.1 million, though their numbers were down 27.1 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively.

“Huawei put in place an aggressive product introduction and sales promotion in China in particular, and benefited from the strong support of communications services providers for its 5G smartphones,” added Gupta.

Apple held third despite sales of 38 million units being flat.