China’s Smartphone Sales Predicted To Fall By 30-50% in Q1, 2020

Chinas smartphone sales in Q1 may halve due to coronavirus outbreak Analyst

Looking ahead, IDC says that the Chinese smartphone market will face yet another challenge with the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which will not only affect the overall performance of the market in Q1 2020 but will also have its long-lasting effect throughout 2020.

Shipments this quarter are now expected to decline 9.8 percent sequentially, as the outbreak has disrupted production in the upstream supply chain, the report said.

Also Read: Chinese Smartphone Market Has A Year-On-Year Decrease Of 6.2%. At the same time, IDC expects it to decline by 30%. Foxconn, the main iPhone assembler, is also working to fully restore the factory.

Apple said last week that it is expanding the closure of its retail stores in China and has not yet finalized the opening dates, as Foxconn, which assembles iPhones, struggles to completely resume factories.

Huawei, China's biggest smartphone vendor, said its manufacturing capacity is "running normally" without specifying further. Just like the rest of the local companies, Huawei too relies on third-party manufacturers when it comes to production.

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If factories cannot resume production at full capacity on time, this could delay the ability of brands to bring their newest products to market, analysts said. Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei and OPPO should release flagship devices in the first half of the year.

Despite the virus affecting operations at a few local factories, Oppo told Reuters that "manufacturing capacity can be guaranteed effectively" as it has plants located overseas as well. Ives also added that AirPods production would need to "ramp up significantly" to stay on pace with Wedbush's estimates of shipping between 85 million and 90 million units in the 202 calendar year.

AirPods production may also fall behind, according to Wedbush. In contrast, Huawei's production prognosis for the January - March 2020 window now sits at 42.5 million units, down 15 percent from initial expectations.

South Korean smartphone maker Samsung will be least affected by the virus outbreak because its main production base is in Vietnam. However, Samsung purchases in China, a number of components, therefore, analysts have lowered the forecast in respect of it. The forecast goes down here by 10 percent, to 2.47 million units produced in the quarter, flat year-on-year.

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