Coronavirus puts damper on global smartphone production

Global smartphone production is seeing its biggest-ever slump as the coronavirus pandemic has smothered global demand.

Industry firm TrendForce said it expects production to dip 16.5 percent year-over-year to 287 million phones in the June quarter, continuing a slide that saw output drop 10 percent in the March quarter, when the outbreak spread and peaked in China before sweeping its way west to Europe and the US.

Samsung will retain its No. 1 ranking on the global leaderboard, and Apple is staying firm at No. 3, but both are expected to lose market share to their Chinese rivals who are seeing demand to wake back up as the country begins its recovery. Apple’s market share will slip to 12.6 percent this quarter from 13.5 percent in the last, TrendForce said.

TrendForce cut its annual output forecast to 1.24 billion smartphones, down 11.3 percent from 2019, from 1.35 billion.

“The pandemic is now making its effects felt on the demand side of the smartphone market by tanking major economies worldwide,” TrendForce said.

On Wednesday, Samsung warned of declines in its mobile business in the second quarter, while Chinese rival Huawei said that it will make 48 million phones in the June quarter, up 2 million from March.