Pandemic Hits Smartphone Market Hard

Athira Nortajuddin 15 September 2020

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Plunged Demand

According to a recent report by GfK, in January to July 2020, the smartphone market value in the Asia-Pacific region declined by 20 percent to just over US$119 billion – almost US$30 billion less than the same period last year. 

“The region’s smartphone market was hardest hit in the second quarter when many countries here entered lockdown mode. This was also when we started observing new trends emerging and the corresponding shifts in consumer demand for durable goods,” explained Alexander Dehmel, Market Insights Lead APAC at GfK.

The report stated that although Taiwan managed to turn in marginal growth at one percent, the rest of the 15 markets reported declines in market value; Indonesia (-4 percent), Thailand (-7 percent), India and Singapore (both -42 percent).

“Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at research firm, Strategy Analytics. 

Another key observation from the GfK study is that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered consumer spending on smartphones. Findings on the region’s smartphone market from the first half of 2020 showed the rising popularity of models from the entry and low to mid-range segments that offer good features at affordable prices.

Market analyst firm Canalys also reported that worldwide smartphone shipments had dropped 13 percent in May 2020 from the same time last year.

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