Counterpoint: smartphones down 13%. Fly Realme, good Xiaomi, bad Nokia

Counterpoint: smartphones down 13%. Fly Realme, good Xiaomi, bad Nokia

For the first time since the beginning of 2014, smartphone manufacturers have distributed less than 300 million units over a quarter period. This is a 13% drop from last year’s first quarter shipments.

This is what the research institute finds in its latest report Counterpoint Research. China is also affected by the crisis in the sector, hit hard by the Covid-19 emergency. The Asian country counts the wounded both on the smartphone front (down 27% year on year) and on that of components for mobile devices.

A crisis that risks leading some producers to diversify their supply chains, shifting attention to India and Vietnam.
Analysts also predict a change in consumer behavior: when the health emergency is over and the lockdowns still present in many areas of the world come to an end, buyers will prefer more convenient devices.

5G smartphones they have proven to be quite refractory to the crisis and represent 8% of all smartphones delivered in the first quarter of this year, with an increase of 1% compared to the last three months of 2019. This percentage is expected to grow even more , thanks to the arrival of 5G devices priced under $ 300.

The ranking of producers

In the first quarter of 2020 Realme it showed massive growth (+ 157% compared to last year). Xiaomi it was the only other brand to grow (by 7%) and, just like Realme, achieved most of its sales in India before the country crashed due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Analysts believe that, overall, the premium smartphone segment will be less affected by the slowdown, while sales of entry-level phones in emerging markets will decrease in proportion to the financial crisis of its target audience.
The mid-range phones, however, will be those that will increase volumes.
Samsung it remains the largest smartphone maker in the world, but its production in the first quarter dropped 18% year-on-year. For the second quarter, Counterpoint expects an even more pronounced decline.
Huawei confirms the excellent performance in China, but drops by 17% on an annual basis. Analysts believe that the giant from Shenzhen could, however, return to office very soon: in practice, those who can count on a good market share in the Chinese market are destined to recover quickly since precisely China, which entered the Coronavirus crisis first, will be the first Country to see economic recovery. Brands with a reduced market share in China will have to wait for their key markets to restart.

Apple recorded a 5% drop in iPhone shipments and a 7% drop in revenues. This suggests that there has been a slight shift in the audience of the Cupertino house towards less expensive models. Xiaomi it grew by 7% thanks to the success achieved in India, where the Chinese brand is a leader with a 30% share.

Nokia smartphones and feature phones

Bad news for HMD who signs phones with the Nokia brand. Sales of feature phones (which represent a very important part of the business) decreased by 34% compared to the first quarter of last year for a total of 8.6 million devices.
Smartphones are no better, steadily declining from the second quarter of 2019. In the first three months of 2020, HMD shipped only 1.7 million Nokia devices, with a 45% drop compared to the first quarter of last year.

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