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Samsung maintains top spot in Q1 smartphone market despite virus pandemic

All News 15:05 May 01, 2020

SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. maintained the top spot in the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2020, data showed Friday, although it sold fewer devices as the new coronavirus pandemic weighed down sales around the globe.

The South Korean tech giant sold 58.3 million units of smartphones in the January-March period, taking up 21.2 percent of the global market, according to the data compiled by industry tracker Strategy Analytics.

The number of devices sold marked a whopping 19 percent drop from 71.8 million units posted a year earlier, the industry tracker added.

A visitor looks at the Galaxy S20 smartphone at the promotion center of Samsung Electronics Co.'s office in Seoul on April 29, 2020. (Yonhap)

The combined sales of the global smartphone market reached 274 million units in the first quarter, plunging 17 percent on-year.

The lackluster performance came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected at least 3.2 million around the globe.

"Demand for smartphones slammed to a halt in the quarter, as the COVID-19 virus scare shut down major economies like China and shoppers placed their spending plans on hold," Strategy Analytics said in its report.

"Despite a strong lineup of A, S and Note series models, Samsung was unable to escape the virus-led plunge in smartphone demand," it added.

China-based Huawei Technologies Co. followed with 48.5 million units sold in the first quarter, down 18 percent on-year. U.S. archrival Apple Inc. sold 39.2 million units in the first quarter, down 9 percent over the period.

Despite a slump in its smartphone shipments in the January-March period, Samsung, also the country's top chipmaker, still had better-than-expected first-quarter earnings from its mobile business division.

Its mobile business unit posted sales of 26 trillion won (US$21.3 billion), down 4.4 percent from a year earlier, but operating profit jumped 16.7 percent on-year to 2.65 trillion won.

colin@yna.co.kr
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