An unprecedented collapse in smart phone sales

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A row of phones

BBC

The percentage of smart phone sales has fallen to the lowest level since the invention of the first smartphone.

According to a report by Strategy Analytics, phone shipments in February fell 38 percent year-on-year.

Linda Sui, who oversaw the report, confirmed that the spread of the Corona virus in China had had a major impact on the smartphone market.

She said: “Some Asian factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices.”

The report indicated that smartphone shipments decreased from 99.2 million in February 2019 to 61.8 million in February 2020.

February was to be an important month for the mobile industry, with the Mobile World Congress taking place, where many new smartphones are usually unveiled.

However, the conference was one of the first important events to be canceled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

And Samsung, which unveiled its latest S20 phone in February, suffered from a very slow initial sales of its new device.

And Apple warned at the same time, that it will not achieve the expected profits.

“February 2020 saw the biggest ever drop in the history of the smart phone market around the world,” said Neil Masson, Strategy Analyst, CEO.

He added: “The supply and demand for smartphones in China and thereafter decreased all over Asia and decreased in the rest of the world.” He pointed out that the current period is “a period that the smartphone industry will try to forget.”

The research company said it expected to continue to suffer smartphone shipments throughout the month of March, after the virus spread across Europe and the United States.

Hundreds of millions of potential customers live in a home quarantine situation – or no longer want to head to the stores.

Strategies Analytics said retailers may decide to offer “generous” discounts to support sales.

Despite warning of losing financial targets and difficulties in supplying the iPhone, Apple announced two new products this week – a new iPad Pro with laser scanning technology and a new MacBook Air.

But it did so through a press release and not at a high-level event as usual.

“It is the first time, as I remember, that Apple is announcing a flagship product like this in a simple and modest way like this,” Benwood, the analyst, told BBC.

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