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Global smartphone shipments tumbled 13% in Q1 2020 due to COVID-19

Pile of Android smartphones
Pile of Android smartphones (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • According to Counterpoint Research, the global smartphone market fell 13% YoY in the first quarter of 2020.
  • A total of 295 million smartphones were shipped globally, down from 341 million in the same period a year earlier.
  • The only brands that achieved growth in shipments in Q1 2020 were Xiaomi and Realme.

The global smartphone market declined 13% YoY in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest data from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service. Due to the impact of COVID-19, nearly all major smartphone brands saw their volumes drop significantly during the quarter.

Smartphone shipments fell below 300 million units in the January to March period, the first time since Q1 2014. As per Counterpoint Research, the sharp decline was driven by a whopping 27% YoY shipment decline in China. In addition to lower consumer demand, the disruption in China due to COVID-19 also had an impact on the supply side for some Android OEMs, affecting their global shipments.

Smartphone Shipments Q1 2020 Counterpoint Research

Source: Counterpoint (Image credit: Source: Counterpoint)

Nearly all major smartphone makers witnessed a decline in shipments during the quarter, with Xiaomi and Realme being the only exceptions. Xiaomi's shipments increased 7% YoY, while Realme registered an impressive 157% rise in shipments. This was partly due to the fact that India, which is a major market for both companies, implemented a lockdown only in the last week of March.

Samsung's shipments declined 18% compared to Q1 2019, although it still managed to capture one-fifth of the global smartphone market. Huawei declined 17% YoY, but was still the second largest smartphone vendor globally during the quarter. Apple remained the third largest smartphone vendor in Q1 2020 and saw iPhone shipments decline by only 5%. Its global market share actually increased 2% YoY, despite the slight decline in shipments.

Global smartphone shipments are expected to fall further in the second quarter, with TrendForce predicting a record 16.5% fall in production.

Global smartphone production could fall by a record 16.5% says TrendForce

Babu Mohan
News Writer
2 Comments
  • It's just not a priority at the moment, to get a new phone and you can't browse in the shops before ordering online. Though I've seen today the specs of the Samsung M31 to be released in June on Amazon UK only, the specs are great 6000mh battery, decent camera, fast charging. I'm tired of spending hundreds. This phone is only £245...
  • Good luck with updates with that Samsung phone, I'd rather spend more and get long term software support and superior app quality and experience and there's only one company that offers me what I'm looking for (hint it's not an Android OEM but won't abandon Android completely).