According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, online retail channels will account for a record 28 percent share of all smartphones sold worldwide in 2020, soaring from 24 percent in 2019. Coronavirus is having a major impact on the distribution of smartphones, with local quarantines and social distancing forcing consumers to change their shopping habits and behavior. The global virus pandemic is rewriting the rulebook of smartphone sales, as ever more businesses shift online.
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Exhibit 1. Global Smartphone Sales by Retail Channel percentage of Total in 2020 (Graphic: Business Wire)
Boris Metodiev, Associate Director, at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast online retail channels to account for a record 28 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide in 2020, jumping from 24 percent share in 2019. Over 1 in 4 of all smartphones globally is now sold online. Smartphone buyers are turning to online shopping from the safety of their homes during the coronavirus crisis. Pure online retailers, such as Amazon of the US, Flipkart of India and JD.com of China, are among the clear winners from the worldwide shift to e-commerce for smartphone purchases. Smartphone vendor online direct sales such as Apple online store would see a solid growth in mature markets too.”
Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Among the losers will be smartphone retailers with a large number of physical stores, such as Dixons Carphone of the UK, who are seeing sales and profits crushed by the virus-led slump in footfall at shops and malls. Mobile carriers, like AT&T of the US or Telia of Sweden, will also be affected negatively, because a large chunk of their smartphone sales happen in-store and rely on face-to-face interactions with sales representatives. Mobile operators who sell smartphones may have to think the unthinkable in coming years and restructure or close many of their offline retail stores.”
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