It certainly is an unprecedented period of time at present, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to ‘normal’ life as we know it changing and the general public now experiencing a different lifestyle than before the virus emerged. With many areas of the world in lockdown and confined to most of their time being spent within their homes, you would expect that smartphones would be a common purchase. However, this is far from the case, as smartphone sales have collapsed due to the pandemic, which has seen the biggest fall since they were invented.
Strategy Analytics, who are a research firm, found that shipments of smartphones had fell by around 40% year-on-year. This dropping from a figure from 99.2 million in February 2019 to a low of 61.8 million in February of 2020. That gives a further indication of the negative impact the virus has had on the smartphone industry and their sales.
This also comes around a period, that was set to be of great importance for the mobile phone industry. That is due to the fact that the major annual Mobile World Congress was due to showcase many of the new products hitting the market. This includes Samsung, who released their S20 phones, which they have indicated have seen very slow initial sales for the device. Apple are another to back this theory up, claiming they have seen a major slump in sales, which is going to mean they miss their profit forecasts, which were previously set.
It has been a similar scenario across all areas of the World and China have also seen their smartphone sales slump, in what is now being described as a period to forget for the smartphone industry. It certainly has been a similar scenario across so many different industries around the world, with the pandemic causing for endless businesses to have to close.
Despite the sales decreasing greatly, the overall usage of smartphones has been a different scenario, with smartphone use now changing due to the coronavirus pandemic. As we are all now very much aware, smartphones are being used for endless everyday activities, and we simply could not complete these without them.
One of the core areas of transformation in consumer behavior is on the trading front, especially given the correlation between the precarious nature of the Forex market. As leaders across the world announce changes to their lockdown measures and economic activity, fluctuations in exchange rates are rife – presenting an opportunity for those looking for shorter-term investments in more volatile markets. Furthermore, bitcoin has been volatile too, trading at a low of 5,544 in April, up to a high of over 8,000 just 3 weeks later – another area for those who like the short term hits in an up and down market. Our mobile devices support this activity perfectly and present a great opportunity for involvement in one of the aforementioned, given the host of forex brokers who offer bitcoin trading on a mobile device. This is one market that may see new investors over the period of lockdown, but those consumers may well be long term for the brokers, as the economic uncertainty goes hand-in-hand with volatile markets – similar to that of bitcoin.
The lockdown has also meant that people have now moved to socializing online, with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok (to name just a few), have seen a major surge in usage on mobile devices. TikTok is the most recent to have been released and is seeing major growth at present. Since the lockdown, it has increased by a further 47% in March, with these statistics coming from Google trends. Each of the other platforms has seen an increase of around 15%, which means many more of us are now using social media than we were previously. But not all social platforms have seen an increase, with LinkedIn seeing a big drop in users, which is little surprise, with many industries closed and the economies grinding to a halt around the world.
Smartphone gaming is another that has seen major growth, since the pandemic. In March, there was a world-wide campaign in order to push people to stay in their homes, with the PlayApartTogether gaming campaign. This was even backed up the World Health Organization, as a means of encouraging people to remain in lockdown.
The figures showed an increase of around 40% in mobile game downloads, from the same period of last year. It has also been a similar scenario for online trading, which following a slump, has continued to rise.
Mobile phone gaming and trading usage have been on the rise for the last few years, so this is all little surprise, despite the lockdowns certainly playing a role in the huge surge. In March, game consoles have seen a 13% increase, in comparison to 40% on mobile devices, giving a further indication of the popularity of mobile gaming in the current period.