China may see its smartphone shipments nosedive 30% to 62.3 million units in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus, according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics.
Strategy Analytics said that the forecast assumes the novel coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan, will effectively be under control by late February or March. But measures undertaken to achieve this, and companies’ reactions to the outbreak will still have a substantial impact on sales.
The virus has already caused the closure of a large number of handset stores in China, which should have the knock-on effect of a decline in smartphone sales in the country. For example, Apple said in a statement that all 42 of its stores on the Chinese mainland will be closed until Feb. 9 because of the coronavirus outbreak, a decision analysts say could delay up to 1 million iPhone sales.
Worse still, the effects of the still-spreading disease are likely to spill over to the global supply chain given the fact that 70% of all smartphones sold in the world are made in China. Quarantine or travel restrictions could result in temporary labor shortages, which in turn would impact factory operations, according to the report. Based on this, Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, predicts that smartphone shipments in the global market will be 2% less than previously expected in 2020.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)