COVID-19 impact: Global smartphone shipments fall 13% in Jan-Mar

COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on global smartphone market with shipments falling 13 per cent to 272 million units in March 2020 quarter, according to research firm Canalys. Canalys, in its report, pointed that the smartphone market had entered 2020 in good health, having just recorded two consecutive quarters of growth, but demand for new devices has been “crushed”.

Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton said that in February, when the coronavirus was centered on China, vendors were mainly concerned about how to build enough smartphones to meet global demand. Stanton noted that smartphones are still a necessity for most people, and device availability in online channels has enabled those who need to replace a broken or lost phone to do so.

Canalys said Samsung led the global tally with 21.9 per cent market share in March quarter, followed by Huawei (18 per cent), Apple (13.6 per cent), Xiaomi (11.1 per cent) and vivo (8.9 per cent). According to Counterpoint Research, the fall in first quarter was mainly driven by a 27 per cent year-on-year shipment decline in China, the initial epicentre of the pandemic.