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The Smartphone Market Is Expected to Tank 12% This Year Thanks to COVID-19

• https://www.fool.com, Evan Niu, CFA

The smartphone market is among many industries getting crushed by the coronavirus outbreak, registering its biggest decline ever in the first quarter after the pandemic simultaneously gutted supply chains and destroyed demand, with consumers fearing a potential recession on the horizon. As the world continues to grapple with the disease, smartphone shipments are expected to remain under pressure for the rest of the year, according to recent estimates from market researcher IDC.

Here's what smartphone investors need to know.

Conditions won't improve until 2021

Smartphone volumes in the first half of 2020 are expected to fall by 18% as the coronavirus crisis continues to hurt discretionary spending. There could be more pain in store for the rest of the year, as IDC does not believe that smartphone shipments will return to growth until the first quarter of 2021.

"What started as a supply side crisis has evolved into a global demand-side problem," said IDC senior research analyst Sangeetika Srivastava. "Nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritized spending toward essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term."


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