Growth in the global smartphone market will remain lackluster this year in the aftermath of the deadly coronavirus that has claimed more than 700 lives in China where it originated from, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA).
SA cut its growth forecasts by 2% from the previous 3% it had projected in December 2019 on the back of 5G networks. This means the market would stay more or less unchanged.
In particular, SA said growth in the Chinese smartphone market would slow by 5%. Companies like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are likely to suffer in the first half of this year, and such developments are likely to impact other global markets, as China currently manufacturers 70% of the world’s smartphones.
US-based Apple is now exception, as its manufacturer Foxconn’s plant is located in Wuhan of China, the epicenter of the coronavirus. During an earnings report on Jan. 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would halt the operations of its suppliers in Wuhan and other neighboring regions until Feb. 10.
Apple has also placed a temporary business ban on all official stores and offices in China lasting until Feb. 9. Should the virus effect last until the end of this month, up to 1 million of the iPhone handsets previously set to be sold in the first quarter of this year would get pushed back to the second quarter, the brokerage said.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.