The global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 295 million units, a decline of 20.4 per cent in the second quarter this year owing to the pandemic as Samsung retained the top spot with selling nearly 55 million units, a new Gartner report said on Tuesday.
Samsung and Huawei moved into a virtual tie for the top spot as Huawei ended up selling 54 million units in the June quarter.
Among the top five smartphone vendors, Samsung experienced the largest decline in sales while Apple’s smartphone sales with 38 million units were nearly flat (year-over-year).
Although Huawei also declined in smartphone sales year-over-year, it experienced 27.4 per cent growth, quarter-over-quarter.
“The improved situation in China saw demand recovering quarter-over-quarter. Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on nonessential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.
Samsung saw a decline of 27.1 per cent year on year.
“Demand for its flagship S Series smartphones did little to revive its smartphone sales globally,” Gupta said.
Huawei’s smartphone sales dropped 6.8 per cent (year on year) and its performance in China helped it avoid a worse quarterly performance.
“Huawei extended its lead in China where it captured 42.6 per cent of China’s smartphone market in the second quarter. Huawei put in place an aggressive product introduction and sales promotion in China in particular and benefited from the strong support of communications services providers for its 5G smartphones,” Gupta added.
Even with increased demand, smartphone sales in China declined 7 per cent, with nearly 94 million smartphones sold.
India which adopted rigorous lockdowns (even restricting e-commerce) recorded the worst smartphone sales decline (-46 per cent) among the top five countries in the world.
Apple’s iPhone sales fared better in the quarter than most smartphone vendors in the market and also grew sales quarter-over-quarter.
“The improved business environment in China helped Apple achieve growth in the country. In addition, the introduction of the new iPhone SE encouraged users of older phones to upgrade their smartphones,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.