Smartphones in a COVID 19 Economy - Bad Reception for the Market

April 30, 2020

After two consecutive quarters of growth, the smartphone market closed 2019 strong, and with plans to storm 2020 with 5G, the future looked promising.    

But then Covid-19 happened. According to the tech analytics firm Counterpoint, the global smartphone market dropped 13% year-over-year in Q1 2020, which represented its fastest quarterly decline ever.

And yet industry experts anticipate an even poorer performance in Q2 due to plummeting sales. 

This is because what initially surfaced as a supply problem when the coronavirus honed in on China and halted manufacturing is now a demand problem with the closure of smartphone retailers and consumers pulling back on non-essential purchases. 

In order for the market to rebound, it will require no less than the reversal of both factors affecting demand: not only will retailers need to reopen for business but they will need a consumer base willing to spend its discretionary income.

“Are you ready for an upgrade?”

While hard to say when retailers will fully reopen for business, it’s possible to measure consumer views on purchasing a new phone once quarantine measures are lifted.

Zeeto set out to do precisely this in a poll that surveyed how quickly consumers who were in the market prior to the pandemic would be willing to return. Here are some of the findings:   

  • 29% plan on buying a new phone once it’s safe to go to a store
  • 39% plan to wait a few months after quarantine measures are lifted
  • 17% plan to wait until next year before returning to the market
  • 15% said they’ve given up on buying a new phone any time soon

“Can you hear me now?” 

As less than 20% of consumers have expressed leaving the market for the foreseeable future, not all is lost for smartphone businesses. But the road to recovery will certainly be a long and arduous one. To ease the burden as much as possible, business leaders should listen to consumers now more than ever, because it is they who hold the keys to their success. 

For additional consumer insight to help grow sales, get in touch today so we can launch your own customized poll with comprehensive reports through our interface that are updated in real-time.