According to a report published by United Nations, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to shrink global GDP by one percent in 2020 as countries across the world have imposed restrictions on economic activities. The smartphone industry is not immune to the pandemic and is likely to face many challenges in the coming days if the COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve, according to industry experts.

The smartphone market in EMEA countries will be one of the worst-hit due to the pandemic as per the recent study by the market research company, IDC. “The EMEA smartphone market is expected to contract by close to a quarter in value terms in the three months to the end of June, after a relatively strong first three months to the year.”

“Measured in retail prices before sales tax and VAT, the second-quarter smartphone total will dip below $19 billion and 63 million units — the smallest quarterly total across EMEA in five years,” the report says.

“This will be the biggest fall in a single quarter the market has seen since IDC started tracking the region 14 years ago,” said Simon Baker, program director at IDC EMEA. “The deepest drop up to now was the 13.0% year-on-year drop in value in the third quarter of 2009 during the financial crisis.”

The downturn will be most pronounced in Europe, with Russia expected to witness the biggest fall. IDC also expects the downturn trend to continue in the third quarter, but the Western European market might see some recovery at the end of the year as Apple is expected to release its first 5G iPhones.

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