Thursday, 04 June 2020 08:45

Global smartphone shipments to fall by nearly 12% this year: IDC

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Global smartphone shipments to fall by nearly 12% this year: IDC Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Global shipments of smartphones will drop by 11.9% in 2020 year-on-year, the technology research firm IDC has forecast, with shipments totalling 1.2 billion units.

In a statement, IDC said this followed the biggest first-quarter drop in shipments which occurred in 2020, adding that the first-half of the year was likely to show an 18.2% drop in shipments.

"What started as a supply-side crisis has evolved into a global demand-side problem," said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

"Nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritised spending towards essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term.

"On the brighter side, 5G is expected to be a catalyst throughout the forecast period, which will play a vital role in worldwide smartphone market recovery in 2021."

The company said while China's economy would continue to take a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, signs of improvement had begun to show as lockdowns and supply chain disruptions were beginning to ease.

smartphones 2020 idc

Since factories had largely resumed operations and the market had opened with some travel and logistical restrictions, IDC said it was inclined to conclude that China's domestic market would see only a single digit decline thus year.

But Europe which had taken a big whack from COVID-19 was expected to show a double-digit decline.

"China's recovery has been impressive to say the least, especially given the initial impact of COVID-19 on the country," said Ryan Reith, program vice-president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

"There's no question that challenges lie ahead for the smartphone industry and we believe the economic downturn is going to cause some fluctuation in the vendor and price-tier landscape.

"The surge in consumer spending around devices that are less mobile than smartphones (PCs, monitors, video game consoles, etc.) will undoubtedly take a share of the consumer wallet that would have been put towards smartphone upgrades and 5G.

"We believe this will result in even more aggressively priced 5G smartphones than expected prior to the pandemic. This could result in some share wins for the vendors that position their portfolios to capitalise on this change."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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