Following a similar IDC report, Gartner now says that smartphone sales fell by 20 percent in the first quarter thanks to COVID-19. Normally, I try to wait until both analysts first have reported their findings before weighing in and using averaged numbers. But given the gravity of the situation, I decided that, for now, we can just throw caution to the wind.
So let’s see what Gartner found.
“The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever,” Gartner senior research analyst Anshul Gupta said in a prepared statement. “Most of the leading Chinese manufacturers and Apple were severely impacted by the temporary closures of their factories in China and reduced consumer spending due to the global shelter-in-place.”
According to Gartner, hardware makers sold 299 million units in the first quarter of 2020, a decline of 20.2 percent when compared to the 375 million units sold in the same quarter one year ago. As you may recall, IDC pegged the figures as 275.8 million units and a drop of 11.7 percent year-over-year (YOY).
Samsung was the world’s biggest maker of smartphones in the quarter, with its 55.3 million units sold representing 18.5 percent marketshare. But that was also a decline of 22.7 percent YOY.
Huawei came in second with 42.5 million units sold and 14.2 percent marketshare. But Huawei’s decline in sales of 27.3 percent was also the worst of the top five hardware makers. “Huawei will have a challenging year,” Mr. Gupta said. “With the lack of popular Google apps and Google Play store, Huawei is unlikely to attract new smartphone buyers in international markets.”
Rounding out the top five are Apple (41 million units, 13.7 percent marketshare, a decline of 8.2 percent), Xiaomi (27.8 million units, 9.3 percent, 1.4 percent growth), and Oppo (24 million units, 8 percent, -19.1 percent).