The sales of Samsung Galaxy smartphones are plummeting at an unprecedented pace as the world continues to fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak. While the South Korean tech giant did reasonably well – all things considered – in the first quarter of the year, its Q1 2020 sales still endured a historic hit, Gartner reports. According to the market watcher's latest industry overview, Samsung's mobile device sales over the initial three months of 2020 amounted to just over 55 million, down 16 million (22.7%) annually.
On the bright side for Samsung, it's still the global leader by end-user sales, with Gartner estimating the chaebol managed to seize some 18.5% of the market in Q1 2020, down 0.6 points compared to 12 months ago.
Samsung's Q1 2020 mobile sales hint at (bad) things to come
Gartner's report, published Monday, offers little optimism for Samsung's near-term prospects in the smartphone space. That isn't to say this grim forecast is unique to the industry-leading handset manufacturer. On the contrary, the COVID-19 pandemic is already taking a comparable toll on Samsung's rivals. Its number one competitor, Huawei, hence experienced an even sharper decline in smartphone sales year-over-year, as the table below illustrates.
While the Galaxy S20 series was hardly setting the world alight even before the majority of the planet went into lockdown, the silver lining for Samsung is that its timing is impeccable. If this was any other year, Huawei would have likely seized a significant portion of Samsung's premium market share. In reality, the Chinese behemoth is preoccupied with staying operational in light of crippling U.S. sanctions, meaning Samsung has a debt of gratitude to the Trump administration.