The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the sale of smartphone across the world, new data from research firm Counterpoint shows.
The group said that the global smartphone market declined at its fastest rate ever in Q1 2020 (down 13% YoY), and it is the first time since Q1 2014 that the smartphone market has fallen below 300 million units in a quarter.
“The first quarter decline was mainly driven by a 27% YoY shipment decline in China, the initial epicentre of the pandemic,” Counterpoint said.
“Some of the decline was offset by sales shifting to online channels. Overall, the market share of China in the global smartphone market, in Q1 2020 reduced to 22% from 26% a year ago.”
While the entire smartphone industry has felt the impact of the pandemic, Counterpoint’s research shows that more established brands were able to consolidate their positions over the last year.
Counterpoint’s data shows that the combined market share of the top 10 brands has increased to 83%, from 80% in Q1 2019.
“The consolidation trend is likely to continue, as smaller brands, with a higher offline distribution, are likely to be affected more by the pandemic.
“As expected, due to the pandemic, all the major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) declined during the quarter, except Xioami (7% YoY) and realme (157% YoY).”
This is partly because, India, which is the largest market for both these brands, implemented a severe lockdown in the last week of March, Counterpoint said.
Below it outlined the top 10 best-selling smartphone brands in the world right now.
The ongoing effect of the pandemic on the smartphone market is likely to be worse in the second quarter, said Counterpoint.
The impact on the OEMs will depend on the markets, channels, and price bands they operate in with some OEMs affected more than others.
Some of the other key takeaways from the report include:
- Samsung led the smartphone market during the quarter capturing one-fifth of the global smartphone shipments. The OEM declined 18% YoY during the quarter and is expected to see a steeper decline in Q2 2020;
- Huawei continued its push in China and surpassed Apple again during the quarter. The OEM declined 17% YoY during the quarter. Over half of the smartphone shipments for Huawei are now in China;
- Apple remained resilient even during the Covid-19 as iPhone shipments declined only 5% YoY during the quarter. The iPhone revenues were down 7% YoY for the same period. The impact on some European and Asian countries was mild;
- Xiaomi grew 7% YoY during the quarter. The OEM continued to lead the India smartphone market reaching its highest ever market share (30%) since Q1 2018;
- Compared to other major OEMs, Vivo declined less (10% YoY) during the quarter. A strong performance in the Indian Smartphone Market partially offset declines in other markets.