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Smartphone sales plummet 20 per cent during COVID-19 pandemic

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Smartphones sales have slumped by 20 per cent this year as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on major markets around the world, according to market analysts Gartner.

Gartner says total sales have dropped from 370 million in Q2 2019 to 275 million the corresponding quarter this year.

Most major markets faced tough restrictions which impacted on demand.

Retail closures and customers keeping a tighter rein on their finances during the coronavirus crisis were some of the factors that sent smartphones sales plummeting.

The decision to buy a new device was put off until more prosperous times and as a result smartphone users decided to hang on to their current device even longer instead of updating.

The Huawei P40

“Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on non-essential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year,” says Gartner senior research director Anshul Gupta.

Despite China’s recovery from the pandemic it still saw a smaller decline compared to the global trend of 7 per cent down to 94 million units sold.

Gartner noted India had a stricter lockdown with more severe restrictions on e-commerce channels and, as a result, it saw the greatest decline of the world’s top five markets with sales slumping 46 per cent.

According to Gartner’s sales figures Huawei and Samsung are neck and neck with the South Korean electronics giant slightly ahead with 54.7 million units (down 27.1 per cent) compared to 54.1 million units (down 6.8 per cent) for Huawei with most of those sales coming from China.

“Huawei put in place an aggressive product introduction and sales promotion in China in particular and benefited from the strong support of communications services providers for its 5G smartphones,” Gupta added.

Apple remained in third position with 38 million units sold in Q2 2020.