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COVID-19 outbreak: China’s smartphone shipments reportedly rebounds by 17% in April, suggesting normalcy

The numbers suggest an early domestic rebound for smartphone makers such as Apple and Huawei, a news report revealed.

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak across the globe, the Chinese government supported China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) has reportedly shared that smartphone shipments from the factories to vendors across the country has increased by 17 percent in April as against the same period last year.

According to a report by Reuters, “The numbers suggest an early domestic rebound for smartphone makers such as Apple and Huawei and a potential return to normalcy in China for the broader consumer hardware market in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.”

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The news report further stated that the CAICT informed that the handset manufacturer shipped almost 40.8 million smartphones in the month of April this year, registering a 6 million increase from the last year shipment during the same period last year which was 34.8 million.

However, the report by Reuters mentioned that the state-backed think tank for the very first time did not disclosed the percentage of Android devices that were shipped during April this year. This would have helped gain an insight regarding Apple iPhone shipment in China.

Meanwhile, another report by Counterpoint Research stated that Apple showed it is resilient and has revenue diversification during these extraordinary COVID-19 times. The company saw iPhone volumes decline 7 percent but was able to make up the difference with service revenues which grew 17 percent and wearables revenues which increased 23 percent. The company saw iPhone installed bases hit all-time highs in all regions—showing its base remains faithful to the brand.

In a detailed explanation how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook informed, “The first five weeks of the quarter the company was on pace to have a record March quarter. Weeks six through ten of the quarter, China was in the midst of COVID-19. The iPhone supply plummeted due to travel lockdowns, factory output coming to a halt, and supply chain disruptions. In February, China supply and demand witnessed a steep decline. During the last three weeks of the quarter, China factories recovered to near normal output. But, during this time COVID-19 had moved to Europe, the US, and the rest of the world and global demand fell.”

However, Apple is optimistic about iPhone sales recovery because it sees China as a leading indicator. The Counterpoint Research analysts stated, “February saw a steep demand decline. March saw some recovery. April saw further recovery.”

Owing to the strong stimulus packages in the US and Europe, Apple is optimistic the rest of the world recovery will look similar to China’s recovery. The company did note that the first half of April was ‘rough’, but it saw an uptick the past two weeks. Mind you! The demand for Apple products is not back to pre-COVID-19 lockdown levels.

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