Global Smartphone Shipments Experience Record Decline in 2020 Due to COVID-19

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The first half of 2020 has been tough for smartphone manufacturers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We expected dips in shipments globally and now we get to see the severity of the matter.

According to the IDC, the worldwide smartphone market is forecast to decline 11.9% year on year in 2020 with shipments totalling 1.2 billion units.

This forecast follows the largest year over year decline in history in the first quarter of 2020. They forecast that smartphone shipments are now expected to decline by 18.2% in the first half of the year due to the macroeconomic impact of COVID-19 pandemic that continues to affect consumer spending.


IDC also points out that they foresee global smartphone shipments are not expected to return to growth until the first quarter of 2021.

In Q1 2020, IDC points out that there were 275.2 million total shipments globally. Samsung led the pack with 58.4 million phones shipped while Huawei was second with 49 million smartphones shipped. Apple was third with 36.7 million phones shipped while Xiaomi and Vivo completed the top 5 with 29.5 million and 24.8 million sold respectively.


Samsung shipped 71.9 million smartphones the same year, which is a massive 18.8% drop in shipments. Huawei shipped 59.1 million smartphones the same time last year which means they experienced a 17% drop. Other brands experienced an 18% drop in shipments cumulatively compared to the same period last year.

The interesting bit is that Apple, Xiaomi and Vivo seemed to be unaffected by the decline in smartphone shipments. Apple shipped 36.8 million the same time last year, which is only a minuscule 0.2% drop in shipments. Xiaomi and Vivo both experienced growth in shipments year on year where they each grew by 6.1% and 6.9% respectively.


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