Global smartphone output to plunge by record 16.5% in June quarter: TrendForce

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(Reuters) – Global smartphone production is expected to slump a record 16.5% to 287 million phones in the June quarter from a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic muzzles demand, TrendForce said here despite supply chains resuming after weeks of shutdown.

FILE PHOTO: A shopper holds a cell phone during the shopping season, ‘El Buen Fin’ (The Good Weekend), at a store in Monterrey, Mexico November 15, 2019. Picture taken November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will retain their first and third spots on the leaderboard, but are both expected to lose market share to Chinese rivals, the market research firm said on Thursday.

That follows a 10% drop in output worldwide in the March quarter, when the outbreak spread and peaked in China before sweeping through Europe and the United States.

TrendForce cut its annual output forecast to 1.24 billion smartphones, down 11.3% 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.

Apple, which is expected to report March-quarter results on Thursday, has slashed prices of its iPhone 11 in China, the only major market where its stores are open. It also launched a $399 iPhone it hopes will find takers in a frugal economy.

TrendForce estimates iPhone production fell nearly 9% to about 38 million units in the March quarter, and expects a further drop of 2 million units in the current one.

Apple’s market share will slip to 12.6% this quarter from 13.5% in the last, TrendForce said.

Samsung’s share of the market will ease 3 percentage points to 20.3% in the June quarter.

“Chinese brands are exerting continuous pressure on Samsung’s presence in the Southeast Asian and Indian markets by the day,” the firm added.

On Wednesday, the South Korean tech giant warned of significant declines in its mobile business in the second quarter.

China’s Huawei, which saw revenue growth slow sharply in the first quarter, is expected to make about 48 million phones in the June quarter to meet recovering domestic demand, up 2 million from the March quarter, TrendForce said.

Chinese firms Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo will each gain market share in the June quarter. TrendForce added that Vivo was the only smartphone brand among the top six to see volumes increase in the March quarter but warned things things were set to change in light of lockdowns in Southeast Asia and India.

Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Singapore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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