The damage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak across industries showing little sign of slowing down just yet, and that has even been evidenced in a big way within the mobile phone industry. In the second quarter of 2020, worldwide sales of smartphone fell 20.4 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to 295m units.
The handset maker that appeared to suffer the most in the period was Samsung, according to Gartner. The South Korean tech giant saw the largest decline in sales among the top five smartphone makers, seeing its sales slip by 27.1 per cent from Q2 2019 to 55m. Despite this, it still – just about – kept its place as the number one smartphone vendor.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continued to negatively affect Samsung’s performance in the second quarter of 2020,” said Anshul Gupta, Senior Research Director at Gartner. “Demand for its flagship S Series smartphones did little to revive its smartphone sales globally.”
Huawei, though seeing its YoY sales drop by 6.8 per cent to 54m, came pretty close to Samsung in the race for the number one spot. Quarter-over-quarter, it experienced growth of 27.4 per cent.
“Huawei’s performance in China helped it avoid a worse quarterly performance,” added Gupta. “Huawei extended its lead in China where it captured 42.6 per cent 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.”
Apple suffered the least out of the top handset makers, only sliding 0.4 per cent to 38m compared to Q2 2019. The fourth and fifth biggest vendors, Xiaomi and Oppo, suffered declines of 21.5 per cent and 15.9 per cent respectively.
“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.”