Global smartphone shipments tanked by 20.4 percent due to the pandemic

With a 46 percent decline, Gartner says the South Asian country saw the worst drop in smartphone sales among the top five markets for phones globally. Before the pandemic, India was one of the few places where smartphone sales were growing globally, but the country adopted strict lockdown measures to cope with the coronavirus. And while Apple had a presence in India before the pandemic, particularly in the premium segment, it was not among the top five manufacturers.

In Q2 2019, Samsung and four Chinese firms — Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Oppo — held that position. Three of those companies — Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo — also appear in Gartner’s list of the biggest phone brands globally, and they’re the same manufacturers that saw the steepest declines in sales of their phones. Samsung, in particular, had a tough last three months. The South Korean company sold approximately 54 million units in Q2 2020, a 27.1 percent decline year-over-year. Xiaomi and Oppo didn’t fare much better either. They saw sales of their phones decline by 21.5 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively.

For Huawei, Samsung’s loss was the company’s gain. Gartner says the two are in a “virtual tie” for the number one position — though it’s worth noting research firm Canalys recently said Huawei shipped more phones than Samsung this past quarter.

If there’s any silver lining for phone manufacturers, it’s that some of them also make PCs. The same shelter-in-place orders that tanked phone demand, helped boost computer sales this past quarter.

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