Mobile devices shipments to plunge in wake of outbreak, says Digitimes Research


The coronavirus outbreak has derailed production and consumer demand in China - the biggest manufacturing base for mobile devices and one of the biggest markets for them.

Operation at many major mobile device ODMs' China plants is still way below normal levels since work resumed around mid February after an extended Lunar New Year break in the wake of the outbreak. Further upstream at their materals and components suppliers, work resumption has been even much slower.

Digitimes Research expects mobile devices shipments to see major declines in first-quarter 2020, and the full-year shipmet volumes will also be much lower than previously expected. And how bad the falls will be depends on the workers' return rates and the supply of materials and components.

Global notebook unit shipments for the first quarter of 2020 are estimated to plunge 29-36% than the 17% projected earlier, as severe labor and components shortages and stagnant logistics arising from the coronavirus outbreak are stalling the supply chain in China, which commands over 90% of global notebook production, according to Digitimes Research's freshly published special report about the coronavirus outbreak's impacts on the productions and markets of notebooks, smartphones and tablets.

Global smartphone shipments are expected to slip below 1.3 billion units in 2020, including less than 200 million units of 5G models, taking into account the impacts of the outbreak on China and around the world in terms of economic growth.

Among IT product supply chains, the tablet sector has experienced less impact from the epidemic as most tablet factories had remained in production during the Lunar New Year holiday, while those located in regions less affected by the virus have begun resuming production since February 10. In general, the tablet sector is witnessing better capacity recovery than the notebook and smartphone sectors.