As we all are well-aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions all over the world, and the smartphone industry is no exception. The disturbance started around December following the widespread in China which caused a global halt before rapidly spreading across the rest of the world. The latest report from Gartner puts the pervasive damage done into perspective.
The report shows that global smartphone sales dropped by 20% in Q1 2020 but the top 5 smartphone brands remained unchanged. Samsung, Huawei, and Apple remained at the top with Xiaomi and Oppo holding 4th and 5th positions. Oppo, Samsung, and Huawei suffered the most significant decline while Apple’s numbers were, comparatively, not as bad.
Despite the pandemic, Xiaomi surprisingly managed to grow compared to last year and it was the only brand to do so in the list.
Samsung shipped a total of 55 million devices this year compared to last year’s 71 million. Huawei shipped over 42 million versus last year’s 58 million and Apple sold 40 million while it was 44 million last year.
Annette Zimmermann, Research Vice President at Gartner commented on Apple’s performance saying:
Apple had a strong start to the year thanks to its new product line up that saw strong momentum globally. If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reach record level in the quarter. Supply chain disruptions and declining consumer spending put a halt to this positive trend in February.
As for Huawei, the report says that the Chinese brand will struggle to gain momentum following the pandemic especially due to the rocky relationship with the US and Trump’s administration. Having been severed from all Google services and hardware suppliers, and being forced to resort to HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) will cause further damage to the company’s smartphone business.