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COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a 10-year low in smartphone sales

On the other hand, there could be a silver lining in the coming years.

Published onApril 2, 2020

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Update: April 2, 2020 (1:05 PM ET): A recent report by technology analyst firm CCS Insight revealed yearly smartphone shipments could fall short by 13% YoY by the end of 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The firm expects there will only be 1.57 billion mobile phones sold worldwide, which is 250 million fewer device shipments than originally predicted. This would be caused by both decreased supply and demand and could result in the lowest number of smartphone sales in the last decade.

CSS believes smartphone shipments could drop by a whopping 29% YoY in Q2 2020, though the rest of the year looks a little more optimistic even if it doesn’t return to last year’s numbers. The advent of cheaper 5G-enabled handsets could play a role in the rest of the year’s performance increase, but sales could still decline by 3% YoY during the holiday season.

CCS insights decade smartphone shipments graph

The firm goes on to say that another side effect of the current pandemic is that the next couple of years could be pretty good for the mobile industry. CSS expects shipments to shoot to 1.76 billion units next year and 1.99 billion units in 2022 thanks to increased demand. If CSS’ predictions pan out, this would lead to the highest number of smartphone shipments in the last 10 years, which would be a stark contrast to this year’s performance.

You can check out CSS Insight’s full report here.

Original article: March 20, 2019 (12:00 PM ET): The current coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on the world at large, and it’s hitting the smartphone industry particularly hard. According to Strategy Analytics, smartphone end-user YoY sales plummeted by 39% last month, while shipments declined 38% YoY.

The COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing in China this February, which disrupted the smartphone supply chain and, subsequently, depressed consumer demand. Samsung remained on top of the industry in both shipments and sales, with Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo trailing behind.

Interestingly, Strategy Analytics’ numbers reveal that Xiaomi passed HUAWEI in overall sales and shipments during this crisis. We suspect that’s partially due to the fact that Xiaomi released its latest flagship in February: the Xiaomi Mi 10.

Read also: Coronavirus resources and tips: What you need to know

HUAWEI is also getting the short end of the stick because of the current US trade ban. The company has already been losing momentum in the industry and it expects sales numbers to drop as the year goes on.

Unfortunately, this probably isn’t the end of the industry’s woes. We will most likely see overall smartphones sales continue to decline until the pandemic blows over.