Smartphone Market Dips Due To Coronavirus: IDC Component shortages, factory shutdowns, quarantine mandates, logistics, and travel restrictions caused because of the Coronavirus have resulted in a 2.3 per cent predicted dip in the global smartphone market.

By Tahira Noor Khan

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Coronavirus or COVID-19 has adversely affected the businesses globally across sectors. International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, has forecast a decline of 2.3 per cent in 2020, with shipments over 1.3 billion.

"COVID-19 became yet another reason to extend the current trend of smartphone market contraction, dampening growth in the first half of the year. While China, the largest smartphone market, will take the biggest hit, other major geographies will feel the hit from supply chain disruptions," said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement by the IDC.

Component shortages, factory shutdowns, quarantine mandates, logistics, and travel restrictions caused because of the Coronavirus are responsible for the predicted slowdown. The situation, however, is expected to improve from the third quarter of the year as the 5G plans pick up the pace globally and the Coronavirus is expected to collapse.

China gets the biggest blow

According to the report, China will most severely experience a decline in the smartphone market and in its overall economy as well. "For the epicenter, China, we forecast the domestic market to drop by nearly 40 per cent year over year for first quarter and even with a potential March recovery it will still be difficult to reach last year's levels," said Will Wong, research manager with IDC's Asia/Pacific Client Devices Group.

He added, "Buyers will purchase from online channels, which will account for a significantly increased share of phones sold in the first half of 2020 and may represent a permanent shift in buying behaviors."

Opportunities for the SMEs

The report claims that the phone vendors who are able to help their retail channels can make a long-term impact. "The SMEs in the phone industry, especially retail channel partners, will see the biggest effect and phone vendors that can effectively help their retail channel and other partners recover and reconsolidate after the end of the epidemic will secure more opportunities in the long term," said the report.

Tahira Noor Khan

Former Junior Features Writer

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