Global smartphone sales dropped by 20% in Q2 of 2020

By Ellen Daniel

Global smartphone sales declined by 20% in Q2 of 2020, according to Gartner.

This suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the smartphone industry, after sales were already in decline.

The smartphone market experienced its first slowdown in growth in 2018, thought to be due to the slowing of innovation in the industry and the high price of new models, which has led to consumers holding onto handsets for longer. According to Gartner, global sales declined by 1% in 2019.

In Q2 of 2020, Samsung experienced the largest decline in sales year-on-year, which fell by 27.1%. Apple’s smartphone sales remained almost constant, falling by just 0.4%. Although Huawei’s sales declined by 6.8% year-over-year, it grew by 27.4% growth compared with Q1.

This follows a drop in sales of 20.2% in Q1 of 2020, the largest drop the industry has seen so far.

Based on market share, Samsung and Huawei came out on top for the quarter, followed by Apple.

Changes in smartphone sales can be attributed in part to lockdown measures imposed in many countries during the quarter, with consumers less likely to invest in a new smartphone at this time.

“The improved situation in China saw demand recovering quarter on quarter,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on nonessential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year.

“Huawei extended its lead in China where it captured 42.6% of China’s smartphone market in the second quarter of 2020. 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.”

Smartphone sales in China declined 7% in the second quarter of 2020, despite a lack of shelter-in-place restrictions. India recorded the worst sales decline of 46% among the top five countries in the world.

In this quarter, Apple appears to have bucked the trend for a decline in sales with 38 million iPhones sold in the second quarter of 2020, faring better than many predicted.

“Apple’s iPhone sales fared better in the quarter than most smartphone vendors in the market and also grew sales quarter-over-quarter,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.

“The improved business environment in China helped Apple achieve growth in the country. In addition, the introduction of the new iPhone SE encouraged users of older phones upgrade their smartphones.”

Read more: Smartphone sales see worst drop in history due to Covid-19.