The Covid-19 pandemic has made the smartphone industry’s quarter performance rather predictable – it’s all about declines. But it also comes at a time when the industry was already struggling to spark new growth momentum.
Now Gartner’s latest report indicates that the Global smartphone sales market went down by 20.2% globally compared to the year prior. The top five smartphone makers saw massive declines in two figures, but only one was an outlier. Xiaomi saw its shipments grow by a tiny 1.4% which made the company stand out from the rest of the competition.
The worst-hit companies were Huawei, Samsung, and Oppo recording Double-Digit Declines. Huawei’s shipments were down by a massive 27.3%, followed by Samsung with 22.7%, and Oppo closed the top 3 list of worst declines with 19.1%. Apple also shipped less in the quarter than last year but was just by 8.2%.
Other smartphone companies didn’t have it easy as well in Q1. Combined, they all recorded a 24.2% loss.
But it’s clear that Huawei was the worst hit. It’s not surprising as they have many issues going on right now leave alone the pandemic which has a part to play as well.
“Huawei will have a challenging year,” says Mr. Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.
“It has developed the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) ecosystem, but with the lack of popular Google apps and Google Play store, Huawei is unlikely to attract new smartphone buyers in international markets.”
Regardless of the decline, Samsung still held its no. 1 spot in Q1 with 18.5% market share. Huawei followed with a 14.2% share and Apple closed the top 3 list with 13.7% market share.
Gartner cites the global shelter-in-place rules combined with the economic uncertainty presented by the COVID-19 pandemic as the main driver for the decline which resulted in consumers being more conservative on their spending habits.
Supply chains were also hit as the pandemic started in Asia first which harbors the world’s biggest technology supply chain.
But the market was already struggling in the pre-covid-19 period, so it would be quite interesting to see how fast the market tries to recover. Analysts have previously predicted 5G and foldable phones to help accelerate growth in the industry.