Covid-19: Record smartphone sales drop 38% in February 2020

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According to data from Strategy Analytics, this underperformance is due both to production times in China and to reduced demand due to the pandemic. March should not be better.

Free fall among smartphone manufacturers. Like what in times of crisis the losses are enormous. The pandemic has forced many factories and stores to close, and smartphone sales are feeling the pinch. The market experienced a historic decline in February. The impact of COVID-19 on the smartphone market is beginning to be felt worldwide. In addition to the fact that this crisis has an impact on the supply chain of manufacturers, especially for brands that depend on the Chinese workforce, the measures to confirm and the store closings have also caused sales to fall.

In a difficult context linked to the coronavirus epidemic, the Strategy Analytics report, announces a 38% drop in global smartphone shipments in February 2020, or only 61.8 million smartphones delivered compared to 99.2 million in February 2019. “This is the biggest drop in the history of the smartphone market”, says Linda Sui, director of Strategy Analytics. The report specifically mentions the collapse in demand in Asia last month due to containment measures. “Some Asian factories have been unable to make smartphones, while many consumers have been unable or unwilling to go directly to the store to buy new devices.”

An equally difficult March ahead

The situation has since improved in Asia, but the new coronavirus has spread widely in Europe, Africa and North America since, pushing more and more governments to impose containment on their citizens in order to stop the pandemic. The Asian scenario should therefore repeat itself on other continents, and it is therefore unlikely that overall smartphone sales will go up again in March. It would not be surprising if it were even worse than the previous one. Strategy Analytics nevertheless raises the possibility of seeing manufacturers multiply online flash sales and promotional offers to limit breakage in the coming weeks.

Esther Fossi



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