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IDC Forecasts First-Quarter Plunge in China Smartphone Shipments

By Ding Yi / Feb 28, 2020 06:15 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

IDC has officially joined the growing number of market research firms forecasting that the Covid-19 outbreak could wreak havoc on smartphone sales in China, the world’s biggest market.

According to the market research firm’s latest report, China is likely to see its smartphone shipments plummet by nearly 40% in the first quarter of 2020 thanks to impact of the virus, which has resulted in factory shutdowns, supply chain disruptions and logistics restrictions.

IDC also predicts the virus will drive an increase in the share of handsets sold via online channels in the first-half of the year, given that many brick-and-mortar stores have closed to avoid further spread of infections, the report said.

As more than 70% of smartphones sold globally are made in China, the public health crisis may cause global smartphone shipments to drop by 2.3% year-on-year in 2020, with a recovery likely to happen in 2021 due to increasing demand for 5G-enabled cellphones, according to the report.

IDC’s forecast comes after the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a research institute under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, released its latest statistics showing that China’s mobile phone shipments nosedived by 38.9% year-on-year to 20.8 million units in January.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: China’s Handset Shipments Plummet Nearly 40% in January

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