World wide smartphone shipments are expected to drop down by 11.9% in 2020 according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). This comes as a direct result of the global Covid-19 pandemic which is greatly harming all industries. The smartphone industry looks as if it will not escape the impact also.
What started off as a supply crisis is now quickly turning into a demand issue for the industry. National lockdowns are having a big impact on the distribution as well as the sale of the smartphone which is seeing their shipments decrease. Many technology companies are joining the race to fight the virus with the likes of Fitbit launching research into predicting symptoms of the disease.
China set to recover whilst Europe suffers
The prediction from the IDC make pretty grim reading across the globe but there is some hope in Asia. China was initially the epicentre of the outbreak but it appears to have recovered relatively well.
Generally, most factories have resumed operations in the region meaning that China should only expect a single-digit decline in 2020.
Europe, however, is faring far worse as a result of the pandemic. Hardest hit countries such as Spain and Italy will receive drops well above 10% in what could be a hard year for the industry.
With little signs of recovery yet to come out of Europe, there is little certain surrounding what will happen on the continent over the coming months.
Worldwide Picture going Forward
The first quarter of 2020 saw the largest year-over-year decline in history. On top of this, smartphone shipments are expected to drop by 11.9% over the year and 18.2% in the first half of 2020. This does not make particular comfortable reading for any industry leader.
However, growth may return to the sector by the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, the market shares of the industry should remain similar over the year.
Forecasters expect this because of strategies such as higher flagship launches and forming stronger e-commerce footprints.
Overall it looks to be an unsettling few months for smartphone shipments and the industry as a whole.
China looks to be recovering fairly well from the crisis which is a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. However, the economic hardship even in this region is over as the fall out continues.
Europe is likely to be by far the worst by this crisis in many ways. However, it is not all bad news as the sale of smartwatches did grow in Q1 despite the crisis. Therefore, there is hope that the industry as a whole can find a way out of this but that may not be for some time.