Smartphone shipments for February 2019 fell considerably compared to the year before, which is probably to be expected given the current climate. 2019 saw around 99.2 million units ship, but that fell to just 61.8 million this year.

The trend was not at all helped by a sharp fall in demand throughout Asia during the month, with those sales impacting the overall numbers considerably according to a new Strategy Analytics report.

“February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market. Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.”

It didn’t help that Apple closed all of its Chinese Apple Stores, and with the company now closing all of its stores worldwide, it’s a safe bet that March isn’t going to look much better. Demand for smartphones as a whole will surely take its lead from the coronavirus situation. With people quarantined or simply told to reduce non-essential movement, picking up a new phone isn’t at the forefront of the mind. And even if it is, getting hands on one isn’t that easy right now.

Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Despite tentative signs of recovery in China, we expect global smartphone shipments overall to remain weak throughout March, 2020. The coronavirus scare has spread to Europe, North America and elsewhere, and hundreds of millions of affluent consumers are in lockdown, unable or unwilling to shop for new devices. The smartphone industry will have to work harder than ever to lift sales in the coming weeks, such as online flash sales or generous discounts on bundling with hot products like smartwatches.”

Here’s hoping things start to improve, and quickly.

(Source: Strategy Analytics)

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