Contrary to the report released by Strategy Analytics, which said that the global smartphone shipments fell 38 per cent on a year-over-year (YoY) basis in February 2020, Counterpoint Research claims that the decline was ‘no more than 14 per cent lower than February 2019’. It said that the 38 per cent decline was registered as compared to January 2020. The fall was a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, which forced companies to shut their factories in China -- a global manufacturing hub and the epicentre of the pandemic.
‘We are aware of such rumours of a drastic crash of the market. We have looked into this by detail tracking the imports, exports of countries, talking to OEM, EMS, and ODM production managers. We do see a dip in the production in China (40 per cent decline compared to January) but this was the identical pattern of Feb 2019 and happened because of the Chinese New Year. We think the ‘other firm’ might have made a mistake by just observing this,’ Counterpoint Research said in a statement.
It also said that due to 14 per cent decline in the sell-through (the ratio of the number of goods sold by a retail outlet to the number distributed to the wholesale), the sell-in (the number goods shipped) fell just 18 per cent because the production was already done in January. ‘We also saw EMS, ODM companies shifting to India to make up for the factories shut down in China during February,’ the market research firm said.
‘Sell out in China fell around 35 per cent during February, as there was a complete lockdown of the country. Offline sales dropped more than 50 per cent, but there was a shift to online, and we saw online sales grow. Korea was probably the second-worst during February, but smartphone sales just dropped 4 per cent compared to last year. In March, we think Europe will suffer. We expect a 25-30 per cent drop in countries like Italy, Switzerland and Spain,’ the firm noted.
In the report that was released last week, Counterpoint Research said that the decline in smartphone sales was not as bad as the industry had feared due to sales shifting from offline to online channels. The demand for Samsung smartphones remained stable due to the minimum exposure to the Chinese supply chain and China market demand. The South Korean giant captured 22 per cent of the global smartphone market share in terms of sales volumes.
Apple felt some impact from the supply-side because it had to temporarily close manufacturing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Huawei, which has a great presence in China from both supply and demand perspectives, performed above expectations. It sold over 12 million smartphones during February, witnessing just a 1 per cent drop in global market share.