Smartphone Sales in China Nosedive in February Due to Coronavirus

Apple only sold roughly 500,000 phones last month

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has affected several sectors of the economy and one of them is in smartphone shipment. This is clearly evident in China which is the epicenter of the viral infection.

Data from the Chinese government have pointed out that Apple sold fewer than half a million smartphones in China last month (February).

Shipment of Apple phones dropped from 1.27 million in February 2019 to 494,000 last month which is a drop of over 60% year on year. In January, the shipments were steady at over 2 million.


Apple was not the only manufacturer that was affected. In total, shipments were down 54.7% from 14 million in February last year to  6.34 million last month. This is apparently the lowest level for February since 2012 as per the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. (CAICT).

On Android, there was a similar huge drop in shipments. Collectively, Android brands show shipments decline from 12.72 million units in February 2019 to 5.85 million in February 2020, which represents a 54% drop.

In total, mobile phones shipped a total of 6.34 million devices in February 2020 which is down 54.7% from 14 million devices sold in the country last year in February.


Research firm IDC had predicted that smartphone shipments would drop by about 40% in China in the first quarter. They attributed this to the COVID-19 outbreak which caused factory shutdowns that further caused component shortages and disruption of the supply chain. They were hopeful that the scenario would stabilize from the third quarter of the year if the situation improves.

The coronavirus impact on laptop sales is clearly evident in a huge market like China. China also holds the important function of being the world’s manufacturing hub for many companies so a disruption of their daily routines plus the quarantine has led to a massive drop in demand and supply chain shortages.


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