Global Smartphone Sales Declined 14 Per cent in February 2020: Counterpoint

  • Smartphone shipments declined 18 per cent in comparison to the same month last year
  • The Counterpoint report also mentions that more smartphone sales are shifting from offline to online channels

The global February smartphone sales, as per a Counterpoint Research report, showed weakness amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the decline was no more than 14 per cent lower than February 2019.

“The global smartphone market is largely a replacement market, meaning that smartphones are a discretionary purchase. Nevertheless, they are now seen as a vital part of daily life – especially so for those enduring extended periods of isolation or remote working. So while people may delay purchasing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, especially in the early part of the crisis when the disruption and uncertainty are both high, they will still replace their smartphone at some point. This means that sales will not be entirely lost – just delayed,” stated Peter Richardson, VP and research director, Counterpoint Research.

Demand for Samsung smartphones remained stable

The demand for Samsung smartphones, as per the report, remained stable due to the minimum exposure to the Chinese supply chain and China market demand, thus, capturing 22 per cent global smartphone market share in terms of sales volumes.

Apple felt some impact from the supply-side during the month both in China in early February and outside of China in the latter half of the month which affected its sales performance. However, Huawei which has maximum exposure to China from both supply and demand perspectives, performed well above expectations, selling more than 12 million smartphones during February, seeing just one per cent drop in global market share.

38 per cent decline in China

China, the initial epicentre of the epidemic, registered a 38 per cent decline in the smartphone market. The country, as per the report, is showing signs of a rebound already.

“Overall, global smartphone sales in February showed weakness in many markets as consumers became cautious. But with the growth of online channels, we saw sales shifting from offline to online. Offline sales in China fell more than 50 per cent during February. But this fall was partially offset with stronger online sales, so the overall drop at 38 per cent, was not so severe,” read the report.