Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 20.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Like all other manufacturers, Apple was affected.
The global shelter-in-place combined with the economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic led to demand for smartphones collapsing as consumers stopped spending on nonessential products during the first quarter.
“The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever,” says Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner. “Most of the leading Chinese manufacturers and Apple were severely impacted by the temporary closures of their factories in China and reduced consumer spending due to the global shelter-in-place.”
Apple faced supply constraints and store closures which negatively impacted iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2020. Apple’s iPhone sales declined 8.2%, totaling 41 million units in the first quarter of 2020.
“Apple had a strong start to the year thanks to its new product line up that saw strong momentum globally. If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reached record level in the quarter. Supply chain disruptions and declining consumer spending put a halt to this positive trend in February,” says Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. “Apple’s ability to serve clients via its online stores and its production returning to near normal levels at the end of March helped recover some of the early positive momentum.”