Covid: smartphone market down sharply

The Covid epidemic and the various lockdowns continue to weigh on the smartphone market, especially in Western Europe, where the third quarter ended with deliveries down -6.5% to 28.8 million units. This is reported by IDC analysts, who highlight the impact of the economic crisis despite the summer reopenings in the various countries.


Smartphone consumer spending improved slightly from July to September, but sales to businesses fell 11.5%, as businesses shifted spending from smartphones to laptops

Numbers on the rise for Samsung and Huawei

Samsung remains at the top of the rankings with 10.3 million smartphones delivered, equal to a 6.9% year-on-year contraction. In second place remains Apple with 8.2 million iPhones and an increase of 1.1%. Xiaomi ousted Huawei from the bottom step of the podium, thanks to deliveries up 151.6% to 3.7 million units.

Despite all the difficulties, Huawei managed to keep the second position firm with 18% market share. The Shenzhen-based company shipped 48.5 million units, still marking a minus 18% compared to 59.1 million smartphones shipped in the same period last year. Sales driven, once again, by the home market, China.In fifth position we find Oppo, which recorded an increase of 566.2% from 100 thousand to 900 thousand smartphones delivered.

covid smartphone

The forecasts

Here is the forecasting picture provided by Digitimes Research, extrapolated from the Global smartphone shipment forecast, 2021 and beyond study in which the market is analyzed for the next 5 years. Of course, the data has been completely revised following the Covid pandemic that has hit – and is still hitting hard – the world.

  • Smartphones shipped in 2020: 1.22 billion units (in July it was estimated to be 1.22 billion)
    • world market (excluding China): 912 million
    • 5G smartphones: 260 million (20% of the total)
  • Change compared to 2019: -10.4%
    • world market (excluding China): -8.2%

Which price range dominated the market?

The mid-to-low end segment ($100 to $400) dominated global shipments in the second quarter of 2020 with a market share of 60%. Over the same period, the same segment reached 85% in most Asian Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, middle east and Africa countries. In the United States, devices under $200 increased their share by 10 points year-on-year to 27% of the market.

smartphone market

The mid-to-high segment ($400 to $600) gained nearly 4 percentage points to 11.6% globally and even 21% in China. Leading these two segments are Samsung and Huawei branded smartphones along with other Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO. Not forgetting Apple's entry into the $400-600 segment in the second quarter of the year with iPhone SE 2020, which confirmed consumers' trend toward cheaper devices.

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