The hardware space is rather stagnant at the moment given the limitations that the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired throughout the supply chain.

Today our focus is specifically on smartphone shipments following data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker is out now and it forecasts that as few as 1.2 billion smartphones will be shipped this year.

This data is primarily led by the sharpest decline in smartphone shipments in history during the first quarter of 2020.

While at first shipments were hamstrung by trade restrictions, the IDC’s senior research analyst, Sangeetika Srivastava, says that the problem has shifted to a decrease in demand.

“What started as a supply-side crisis has evolved into a global demand-side problem. Nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritized spending towards essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term,” said the researcher.

The IDC notes that China is on the slow road to recovery after its tussle with COVID-19 but Europe “has been hit hard”.

The corporation notes that smartphone shipments may decline by double digits this year. However, the research goes on to state that the region may augment this decline through “higher flagship launches and forming stronger ecommerce footprints”.

The report goes on to state that with more folks being asked to remain in one place, spending on devices such as PCs, monitors and video consoles has increased.

While the IDC believes that aggressively priced 5G smartphones may tempt buyers to upgrade, that requires 5G being available and in South Africa (and many other regions) the lure of a cheap 5G phone means very little if we can’t use the technology.

[Source – IDC] [Image – CC 0 Pixabay]