The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted business supply chains, with major smartphone makers such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics flagging financial hits, but also squeezed consumer spending worldwide.
Senior research analyst with IDC, Sangeetika Srivastava, said that nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritised spending towards essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term.
Research firm TrendForce said in April it expected global smartphone production to slump a record 16.5 percent in the June quarter from a year earlier.
That follows a 10 percent drop in output worldwide in the March quarter, when the outbreak spread and peaked in China before sweeping through Europe and the United States.
In China, where the economy has begun to reopen and factories have resumed operations, IDC expects a single-digit decline in this year.
The research firm also expects upcoming 5G deployment to help the recovery of smartphone shipments next year, adding it does not expect growth to return until the first quarter of 2021.