San Francisco: Smartphone shipments took a historic plunge last month as the novel coronavirus disrupted supply and demand, industry tracker Strategy Analytics said on Friday.
Global smartphone shipments dropped to 61.8 million in February, a 38 per cent drop from the same month a year earlier.
"February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston. "It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget."
Smartphone supply and demand plummeted in China and across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world, Mawston added.
"Some Asian factories were unable to manufacture smartphones, while many consumers were unable or unwilling to visit retail stores and buy new devices," said Strategy Analytics.
Despite tentative signs of recovery in China, global smartphone shipments are expected to remain weak through March.
"Hundreds of millions of affluent consumers are in lockdown, unable or unwilling to shop for new devices," the industry tracking company said.
"The smartphone industry will have to work harder than ever to lift sales in the coming weeks, such as online flash sales or generous discounts on bundling with hot products."