Market analyst Counterpoint Research released its analysis of the global smartphone market for the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020), and as expected, the numbers have plummeted. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of shipments fell 13 percent compared to the same period in 2019 (Q1 2019), which translated into the shipment of 295 million smartphones compared to 343 million in Q1 2019. It is the lowest shipment of smartphones since 2014.
The only ones that were saved from the decline were Xiaomi , which shipped 29.7 million smartphones (vs. 27.8M Q1 2019), and Realme , which grew remarkably to ship 7.2 million smartphones (vs. 2.8M Q1 2019). On the opposite side we have Samsung , which went from sending 72 million in Q1 2019 to sending 59 million in Q2 or Huawei , which went from 59.1 to 49 million . Apple maintained its third place with a slight drop of 2 million units.
According to Counterpoint, the effect of the pandemic will worsen in the second quarter of 2020 , with some markets struggling more than others. The Chinese market is already recovering, so companies that are strong there, such as Huawei or Oppo, will see less of an impact on their sales, compared to Samsung , where all of its major markets are seriously affected by COVID-19 and will continue to be the most affected.
Interestingly, the high-end segment will be the least affected, and this means that the most economical devices will be those that suffer financial uncertainty among people with lower incomes and with a tendency to buy terminals in physical stores.