The smartphone market suffered its worst decline ever in Q1, as the coronavirus pandemic pushed sales down by 20 per cent.
Demand "collapsed" in the first three months of the year as consumers stopped spending on non-essential items, according to Gartner.
The market watcher recorded a 20 per cent year on year nosedive in unit shipments during the quarter, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi the lone member of the top five smartphone manufacturers to experience a sales increase.
"The coronavirus pandemic caused the global smartphone market to experience its worst decline ever," said Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner. "Most of the leading Chinese manufacturers and Apple were severely impacted by the temporary closures of their factories in China and reduced consumer spending due to the global shelter-in-place."
Samsung built more inventory in the channel in preparation of new smartphone launches, but its "inefficient" online channel hampered end-user sales during the quarter, Gartner noted.
The market leader consequently saw shipments fall 22.7 per cent, with second-placed Huawei recording a 27.3 per cent drop.
"Huawei will have a challenging year," said Gupta. "It has developed the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) ecosystem, but with the lack of popular Google apps and Google Play store, Huawei is unlikely to attract new smartphone buyers in international markets."
In contrast, Xiamo saw its marketshare spike from 7.3 to 9.3 per cent year on year, thanks to strong sales of Redmi devices in international markets and aggressive online channel focus, Gartner said.
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Huawei and Samsung hit hard as unit shipments nosedive 20 per cent, according to Gartner