After a few years of decline, we were expecting the smartphone market to grow in 2020. Sure enough, the year did start on a good note. But towards the end of the first quarter, the COVID-19 outbreak started, leading to lockdowns being imposed in several countries over the coming months. All this resulted in a big fall in supply and demand. But as restrictions started to ease, we saw a recovery in sales due to pent-up demand and the new normal of work-from-home and study-from-home. In this podcast, we take a quick look at how 2020 fared and our outlook for 2021.
Despite the economic uncertainty due to COVID-19, the key takeaway from 2020 is that the smartphone market is not only resilient but also dynamic to respond to changing realities. Though the immediate trigger was the pandemic, 2020 saw the market accelerating its shift to online channels. The year also saw the US sanctions on Huawei being tightened, causing a major impact on the company. Huawei lost access to GMS for Play Store and TSMC for chipsets, among others.
At the start of the year, we were expecting 2020 to be a breakout year for 5G. But while the year saw a lot of 5G phone launches, the uptick started only after the iPhone 12 launch. In just two weeks of its launch, the iPhone 12 became the world’s number one 5G smartphone.
In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Associate Director Tarun Pathak to talk about how 2020 shaped up amid the coronavirus pandemic. They also discuss the important events that took place this year, brand strategies and more. Finally, we also share our outlook for 2021.