How the coronavirus affected iPhone sales

In the holiday quarter of 2019, on the eve of the dramatic events of the first quarter of 2020, Apple surpassed Samsung and Huawei in smartphone sales and topped the top five. 2020 should have been a good year for smartphones, especially Apple. It did not work out: in the infected first quarter, the top three are still the same, and in the same places. Smartphone sales did not rise as expected by 2-3% compared to the first quarter of last year, but fell. By 20.2%. But the success of Apple at the end of last year was not accidental, in the “individual standings” the iPhone is leading for the second year in a row, now it is the iPhone 11 – its sales exceed the sales of its nearest rival by almost three times, and Apple’s share in the global smartphone market continues to grow.

IPhones are buying less, but not much

Apple would have ranked first on the leaderboard in the post-holiday quarter of this year, if it were not for the known circumstances, we will not know. Everything went to this. In Apple’s main markets (the US and China), sales were growing, and demand for the iPhone 11, the most popular smartphone in the world, was phenomenal, on the verge of a shortage. Apple ordered additional batches, the component supply chain began to move – and this is hundreds (if not thousands) of factories around the world, in China, Vietnam, Korea, the United States, Hungary and many other places.

But after the Chinese lunar new year, everything stopped, as if the world hit a concrete wall at full speed. Let’s not go over the twists and turns of the coronavirus epic in memory, but note only the obvious fact: in January-March of this year, in spite of everything, people bought 299 million smartphones. This is less than 375 million smartphones a year ago, but not fatal. It could have been much worse.

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TOP smartphone manufacturers 2020

In January-March 2020, compared to the same period last year, sales of smartphones in the world decreased by 20.2%, from 374,917 thousand units to 299,138 thousand. With the exception of the Chinese company Xiaomi, which grew 1.4% in sales and moved up from fifth to fourth in the world in terms of this indicator, all other leaders saw a decline in sales. Huawei – by 27.3%, Samsung – by 22.7%, OPPO – by 19.1%.

Compared to the rest, Apple’s decline in sales (8.2%) is simply not serious. The stocks of the iPhone 11 in February-March would not have been enough to meet the pre-virus demand, and the additional order from Apple “hung up” – if not for this, everything would have been different. Or it wouldn’t. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, when Apple earned $ 58.0 billion from smartphone sales, in January-March of this year, Apple earned half a billion more, 58.5 billion. The recession has affected the segment of the cheapest smartphones the most, the buyers of which in the current situation have no time for “toys”.

How the coronavirus affected iPhone sales

Samsung Galaxy A51

In the current five leaders, the sixth participant “Others” is still in first place, which has more than a third of this market. So, the first quarter of 2020:

  • Samsung – 55 333 thousand pieces, 18.5% of the market, compared to last year -22.7%;
  • Huawei – 42 499 thousand pieces, 14.2% of the market, compared to last year -27.3%;
  • Apple – 40,920 thousand pieces, 13.7% of the market, compared to last year -8.2%;
  • Xiaomi – 27 817 thousand pieces, 9.3% of the market, compared to last year + 1.4%;
  • OPPO – 23 949 thousand pieces, 8.0% of the market, compared to last year -19.1%;
  • Other – 108 621 thousand pieces, 36.3% of the market, compared to last year -24.2%.
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TOP smartphone manufacturers 2019

For comparison – the five leaders in January-March 2019, by the way, one of the most unfortunate quarters in the history of the iPhone, when many were sure that the iPhone had died, and its place was rightfully taken by Xiaomi, OPPO and Huawei:

  • Samsung – 71 621 thousand pieces, 19.1% of the market;
  • Huawei – 58 436 thousand pieces, 15.6% of the market;
  • Apple – 44,569 thousand pieces, 11.9% of the market;
  • OPPO – 29 589 thousand pieces, 7.9% of the market;
  • Xiaomi – 27 424 thousand pieces, 7.3% of the market;
  • Other – 143,279 thousand pieces, 38.32% of the market.

Conclusions: in the team event, Apple still loses to Samsung and Huawei, but I would not be so sure about “hopeless”. In the last three months of good times, the situation has already begun to change, there is evidence.

The most popular phone in 2019

How the coronavirus affected iPhone sales

What did you think it would be a OnePlus?

The results for the fourth calendar quarter of 2019 were sensational, but not at all random. Apple was able to seize the moment and offer the world something better and more attractive than the products of “hopelessly ahead of its competitors”:

  1. Apple – 70.7 million smartphones, 18.9% of the market;
  2. Samsung – 68.8 million smartphones, 18.4% of the market;
  3. Huawei – 56.0 million smartphones, 15.0% of the market;
  4. Xiaomi – 33.0 million smartphones, 8.8% of the market;
  5. OPPO – 30.5 million smartphones, 8.1% of the market.

Although one cannot but agree with the arguments of the “opposite side”: the gap from Samsung is still very insignificant, Apple is one of the best “machines for promoting anything” in the world (as John Scully said, since then this statement has become less indisputable, but how Samsung’s defense argument is appropriate). Nevertheless, this list proves that things are not so simple in the world, and that the situation may well change.

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Until recently, the iPhone XR was the absolute champion among all smartphones in the world (including the most affordable), and even by a wide margin from its closest rival. Now this is history. It is in fifth place, ahead of the Samsung Galaxy A51 and two smartphones from Xiaomi, Note 8 and Note 8 Pro.

Новый чемпион мира – тоже iPhone, iPhone 11. С еще большим отрывом от серебряного призера.

How the coronavirus affected iPhone sales

Most popular smartphones in Q1 2020

In my opinion, this is further proof: if Apple does not make serious mistakes due to dizziness from success or other stupid things, the future can be very interesting.

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